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WES Weekly Roundup November 22, 2022

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World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. The weekly roundup includes research, stories, and events of interest to the Canadian immigration and settlement community. This content has been created by WES and is reproduced here with their permission, in partnership.

Whitepaper: International student demand and opportunities for Ontario and Quebec (IDP Connect)

Looking at data from IDP Connect and IRCC, this white paper explores areas of interest, search trends and what impacts the decisions of international students looking to come to Canada. The policy landscape surrounding international students has gained increased attention, as Canada’s international student population has ballooned over the past decade. In 2021, Ontario accounts for half of new international students (49%) with BC (21%) and Quebec (14%) following behind. However, the authors stress that while the global race for international student recruitment continues to rise, a number of trends will impact these figures in the future. Among them are diversification of source countries (beyond India and China), a closer link between immigration and international education policies (e.g. IRCC policy to lift the 20 hour off campus work limit), high refusal rates for study permits from Africa, visa processing delays at IRCC, and a looming global economic recession.

While some trends will have a positive effect on international student interest, some may steer individuals to other popular educational destinations like Australia, US and the UK. In further examination of data collected from student surveys, respondents identified several areas that influenced their decision in choosing an institution. Affordability of the school and the city in Canada, access to current students they could speak with, a strong school website to answer questions, career services and clear employment outcomes post-graduation, a strong social media presence – particularly Tik Tok – and a quick response to inquiries. The international student recruitment environment has changed since pre-pandemic and collaborative efforts among post-secondary institutions, educational agents and career services can help gain more insight on how all stakeholders can thrive within it.

Refugee Resettlement Spotlight

How Canada plans to break records with its new refugee targets

Despite disruptions wrought by the pandemic, Canada leads the world in refugee resettlement for the past three years. In 2021, around 20,000 refugees were resettled in Canada. With current targets in place, Canada will resettle more than 50,000 refugees, a nearly 150 percent increase. This is also a record-breaking target, with plans to accept more refugees than amid previous migration crises. However, Canada continues to experience obstacles in advancing humanitarian policies. With the current backlog and slower processing times, delivering on promises of resettlement has become even more complex.

Although Canada has specialized programming to support individuals seeking refuge abroad, advocates cite the 'additionality' aspect of such programming, where private sponsorship avenues should complement and not replace government assistance programs. Over the next 3 years, government assisted refugee programs targets are expected to decline by 30 percent, while private sponsorship is expected to rise. Canda should continue to be an ally and exemplar in humanitarian response, however should take steps to rectify challenges in fulfilling commitments.

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