Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Éstudents – foreigners: private establishments in B.C.'s crosshairs.

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Selina Robinson, the provincial minister of post-secondary education and future skills, announced measures Monday morning at a press conference in Surrey.

  • Simon Jousset (View profile)Simon Jousset

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The government of Colombia British announced on Monday a series of measures which aim to better regulate the practices of post-secondary establishments which welcome foreign students.

These measures will ensure that institutions provide high-quality education and offer the effective supports students need to study and build prosperous and successful lives in British Columbia, explains the province in a press release.

These new standards will help prevent abuse and prevent private establishments that are unable to meet provincial education quality standards from 'welcome foreign students.

These announcements made Monday morning by Selina Robinson, the Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, come a week after those made by Ottawa.

Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller has stated that the Liberal government is now establishing a two-year cap on foreign students accepted into the country. The approval of study permits in 2024 will therefore drop by 35% compared to 2023, indicated the minister.

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In his announcement, he explained that the cap was intended to reduce pressures on demand for housing, health and other services.

The main objective is to stop the negative effects of a system [that has become] out of control. He also explained that some foreign students are victims of private organizations who take advantage of their desire to study in Canada.

Foreign students come here for the quality of education, but too many are being exploited, said the provincial minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills.

Selina Robinson announced the suspension for two years [until February 2026 of] the approval of new post-secondary institutions wishing to enroll international students.

The Minister's announcements are particularly aimed at private post-secondary education establishments.

The province is planning more frequent inspections of these in order to guarantee the application of new improved quality standards and adequate support for students.

The educational programs they provide will be subject to higher approval standards. Establishments will therefore have to prove that there is a need in the labor market and demonstrate the existence of adequate resources and support services for students.

In addition, private establishments will have to comply with the wishes of the province to establish minimum language standards. This should allow new international students to be better prepared to study and work in British Columbia.

Public post-secondary educational institutions are not forgotten. They will be required to publish the amount of tuition fees for the full duration of the programs. This should allow applicants to know the full cost of the program before starting their studies.

Meena Dhillon, managing attorney at the South Asian Legal Clinic of British Columbia (SALCBC), welcomes the government's announcements, but believes they come too late. They do not make it possible to resolve the problems currently arising in a certain number of private higher education establishments. I think the ministry should do a little more to support the students who are already here.

The lawyer says she is really concerned about the lack of transparency of some of these private higher education establishments. There is no real control over the tuition reimbursement procedure. In the event of a dispute, students must fend for themselves.

Meena Dhillon would have liked the ministry to put in place a consistent procedure for all students in the event of a dispute. dispute regarding a refund. This would allow them to contact a third party instead of contacting the establishment themselves.

In British Columbia, there are more than 175,000 international students enrolled in post-secondary institutions. They come from more than 150 countries.

Approximately 54% are enrolled in private post-secondary institutions, depending on the province.

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