Universities respond to federal plan to double foreign students

January 20, 2014

Canada’s new federal plan to increase international student enrolment has some university leaders concerned about the spaces and supports needed for so many new students, reports James Bradshaw. The new International Education Strategy, released last week, proposes to double the number of foreign students studying in Canada, to 450,000 by 2022, without displacing Canadian students, but Bradshaw notes that some institutions, such as Ryerson University, already operate at full capacity. Stephen Toope, President of the University of British Columbia, applauded the plan, but remarked that institutions will have to “spend heavily on supports and space” for the added students. In areas where institutions are running below capacity, the federal plan was met with praise, although Mount Allison University President Robert Campbell expressed concerns about the influx of new students into certain areas of study. “There’s a good chance this is not going to be overpopulating our language departments, and it will probably put great strain on professional programs.”Globe and Mail