Now B.C. and Ontario To Cap International Student Visas Amidst Federal Announcement

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British Colombia and Ontario are pledging to take action against private post-secondary institutions accused of exploiting international students following the federal government’s announcement of a 35% reduction in student permits for 2024.

Immigration Minister Marc Miller emphasized the need to address what he labeled as “the diploma equivalent of puppy mills,” with each province receiving a share of student visas distributed based on population.

Miller specifically highlighted B.C. and Ontario during an interview with CBC’s Power and Politics, pointing to the proliferation of what he called “fake” degrees from private institutions in these regions. He urged provinces to fulfill their responsibilities in maintaining the integrity of the education system.

Previous CBC News reports have exposed instances of private post-secondary institutions providing misleading information to international students, recruiters making questionable claims about jobs and residency, and the alleged issuance of fake documents for visa applications.

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B.C.’s Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Minister, Selina Robinson, revealed plans for a comprehensive strategy to be announced next week. This strategy aims to significantly enhance quality standards in international education, addressing concerns such as false promises of in-class instruction and guaranteed housing made by some of the province’s 250-plus private post-secondary institutions.

Robinson emphasized the need for increased accountability, stating, “We’re going to be requiring much more accountability by these private institutions,” and affirmed collaboration with the federal government to enhance provincial oversight and ensure appropriate application of student visas.

Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, echoed these sentiments, expressing the province’s commitment to working with the federal government to combat practices like predatory recruitment. She acknowledged the existence of “bad actors” exploiting international students with false promises of guaranteed employment, residency, and Canadian citizenship.

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