Canadian schools partner and lower language requirements to attract foreign students

August 14, 2014

Canadian PSE institutions have begun to loosen standards around English-language proficiency in order to attract more foreign students, reports the Globe and Mail. The move is usually part of a partnership between a school board and university or college, as in the case of the Limestone District School Board in Kingston, Ontario, which has partnered with Queen’s University. Queen’s pays part of the board’s recruitment costs, and students are conditionally accepted into the arts and science faculty at Queen’s, with reduced requirements for English-language proficiency. The Toronto District School Board says it is negotiating a similar partnership with the University of Toronto, where the language proficiency exam requirement would be waived for foreign students that have attended 2 years of high school in one of the board’s schools. Many schools at both the secondary and PSE level have begun to recruit heavily in international markets to offset a declining youth demographic. The Vancouver School Board currently has more than 1,300 foreign students attending its schools, with total revenue from foreign student tuition expected to reach $20 M this upcoming year. Globe and Mail

Postscript: August 14 2014

Yesterday’s coverage of language requirements for international students reproduced an error published by the Globe and Mail, who has since issued a correction. The Vancouver School Board’s international program has more than 1,300 students. Further, a representative of the University of Toronto has informed Academica Group that, contrary to the Globe’s report, the institution is not in talks with the Toronto District School Board to reduce or waive English language requirements for international students within the TDSB. Queen’s University Provost Alan Harrison also responded to the Globe article and clarified that the Limestone Queen’s pathway program does not lower admission standards and that all participants must still meet the university’s academic and language requirements and deadlines in order to obtain a conditional offer of admission to Queen’s. Harrison added that the pathway is a rigorous program and that while Queen’s is a partner in the program it does not actively recruit for it. Globe and Mail | Queen'sU News Release