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Canada: international student study permits up 5.4% in 2015

The number of new study permits issued to international students in Canada increased by 5.4% in 2015, according to the latest figures published by the Canadian government, which also show that international students spend more than $11.4bn in Canada annually. However, growth in the number of study permits issued has slowed slightly over the last two years, the figures show.

The Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration showed that 125,783 new study permits were issued to international students last year.

Presented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the report also found there was a 6.4% increase in the number of student applications received in 2015 – to 187,968 – compared with the year before.

“International students spend more than $11.4bn in Canada annually”

“International students bring with them new ideas and cultures that enrich the learning environment within Canadian educational institutions,” the report said.

“They also make a major economic contribution – international students spend more than $11.4bn in Canada annually.”

This figure represents a significant bump from the $8bn annual spend estimated in the 2014 report.

The department minister, John McCallum, said in the report that temporary immigration represents a “significant contribution” to the country’s economy and labour market.

“Canada has always been a popular destination for students, workers and visitors from around the world, and this popularity is growing at a remarkable rate,” he said.

The number of new study permits issued in 2014 increased by 4% from 2013, the previous year’s report announced, showing there was a greater increase last year. However, the growth is slightly lower than in 2012-13, suggesting growth has slowed slightly overall.

Growth in student applications has slowed more noticeably, from an 11.1% rise in 2014 to 6.4% increase in 2015.

Evidence of slowing international student growth was seen in research published by the Illuminate Consulting Group earlier this year. The report showed that the year-on-year rise in new enrolments in 2015 was less less than half the rate reported in 2014 and earlier.

The immigration report last year said IRCC processed over two million temporary resident applications and extensions, added McCallum, which represented “an increase of more than 18% over the previous three years”.

IRCC doesn’t set targets for temporary residents, according to a spokesperson at the department, and study permits are based on demand.

“By limiting the issuing of study permits to students destined only for institutions that have been designated by their provincial/territorial government, students around the globe have some assurance that they are enrolling in a legitimate school that is accountable for meeting certain standards,” she told The PIE News.

The immigration report also outlined that there were 5,829 holders of international study permits who transitioned to permanent residence last year.

“Former international students are also well-placed for success within Express Entry”

According to the IRCC spokesperson, almost a quarter (22%) of those applying through Express Entry (the route to permanent residence in Canada) had Canadian study experience.

“Former international students are also well-placed for success within Express Entry, given the particular attributes of international students including their education, possible Canadian work experience, strong official language skills and youth,” according to the spokesperson.

“A review of Express Entry is underway to see how it can be further improved for potential immigrants, including international students,” she added.

Earlier this year, the Liberal government announced it was taking steps to ease the process of international students becoming permanent residents by repealing a bill passed by the previous government.

“If I were asked what is the stupidest part of [Bill] C-24, I would say revoking the 50% credit for international students,” said McCallum in a speech at the time.

As a result, Bill C-6 reduced the period of residency to three years out of the last five, and restored residency credit for international students.

Last year, there were 271,845 permanent residents admitted to Canada, according to the report.

The target for admissions in 2017 is between 280,000 and 320,000.

The report also acknowledges that Canada welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees last year.

Rector Osh University meeting students of OshSU

Rector of Osh State University K. Kojobekov, Dean of the Faculty of International Medicine J. Muratov met with foreign students studying at Osh State University. During the meeting they exchanged views on the current situation for students, the online learning process.

Netherlands: 38% of students remain 5 years after graduation

Over a third of all international students who graduated from Dutch universities have remained in the Netherlands five years later, according to a report from EP-Nuffic on the rate of retention of foreign students.
‘Welcome, to work’, produced in collaboration with Bureau Blaauwberg, found that the five-year stay rate of international students from the 2008/09 graduating cohort was 38%, higher than the global average of 25% recorded by the OECD.
Of that cohort, 71% are employed in the country, reflecting the efforts of national campaigns to train foreign talent to enter the labour market.
“Substantial numbers of students come here because of the quality and reputation of the education system, without even a thought of remaining in the Netherlands to work afterwards,” the report notes, but adds that the figures “suggest that a majority of graduates wish to seriously evaluate their prospects in the Dutch labour market, or for further study.”
Promoting the Dutch labour market to foreign graduates is a leading tactic in initiatives to retain students Of the 7,350 international students graduating in 2008, 70% were still in the country in October 2009 while two years on, 3,540 students, or 48%, remained.
“A majority of graduates wish to seriously evaluate their prospects in the Dutch labour market, or for further study” Retention figures are higher among students outside of the EU and EEA, who have free access to the Dutch labour market, the report shows.
“Since [non-EEA students] have already made a big decision, it makes sense that they would put in more effort to stay on after graduation,” it says.
The number of international students has consistently risen in the Netherlands in recent years, with close to 90,000 international student enrolments in 2014/15, up from 70,389 the previous year.
The EP-Nuffic programme, Make it in the Netherlands, aims to show students the career opportunities available once they graduate.The scheme’s efforts consist of bridging the divide between Dutch and non-Dutch students, helping to connect international students’ studies to a career path and making the Dutch language more attractive to learn for international students.
“An early acquaintance with the Dutch language is essential for a successful start in the domestic labour market,” the report notes
“We’ve decreased this red tape around finding work and made sure that more information is provided in English”
The programme also aims to increase the scale of regional student retention campaigns, and reduce red tape for students who are looking for work.
“Where possible, we’ve decreased this red tape and made sure that more information is provided in English,” a spokesperson from EP-Nuffic told The PIE News.
“One of the main results was that the possibilities for the so-called ‘orientation year’ in which students are allowed to stay in Holland to look for work has been simplified and elaborated.”
The report also credits higher education institutions for the higher than average stay rate
“When it comes to increasing the stay rate and retaining international students in the Dutch labour market, to date the institutions have taken the lead,” says the report.
It also makes recommendations of what more could be done to encourage international students to stay in the country post-graduation.
“Increased efforts would benefit, for example, from more regional collaboration and a comprehensive national, social and economic agenda,” the spokesperson said
“Municipalities, businesses, not-for-profit organisations and higher education organisations should better exploit cross connections.”


Google, Facebook, Microsoft, other tech companies join lawsuit against new student visa rule

Google, Facebook and Microsoft have joined a lawsuit filed by the Harvard University and the MIT against the ICE latest rule that bars international students from staying in the US unless they attend at least one in-person course.

More than a dozen top American technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft, on Monday joined a lawsuit filed by the Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) latest rule that bars international students from staying in the United States unless they attend at least one in-person course.

Seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, these companies, along with the US Chamber of Commerce and other IT advocacy groups, asserted that the July 6 ICE directive will disrupt their recruiting plans, making it impossible to bring on board international students that businesses, including amici, had planned to hire, and disturb the recruiting process on which the firms have relied on to identify and train their future employees.

The July 6 directive will make it impossible for a large number of international students to participate in the CPT and OPT programmes. The US will "nonsensically be sending...these graduates away to work for our global competitors and compete against us...instead of capitalising on the investment in their education here in the US", they said.

The Curricular Practical Training (CPT) programme permits "alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education or other type of required internship or practicum offered by sponsoring employers through cooperative agreements with a student's school".

On the other hand, the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme allows up to one year of temporary employment that is directly related to an international student's major area of study, which can occur either before the student graduates and/or after his studies are complete. Students in STEM fields may obtain a two-year extension of their post-graduate OPT, they said.

Closing off more than half of all international students from participating in the recruiting pipeline for American businesses will thus harm companies and the entire economy, and disrupt reliance expectations based on prior policies permitting international students to remain in the US, the firms said.

Asserting that international students contribute substantially to the US economy when they reside in the United States, the legal brief said the departure of these students threatens the ability of US educational institutions to sustain critical mass -- which they need in order to maintain their standards of excellence, to train the American students who will make up the talent pool available to amici and other US companies in the future, and to perform the research that keeps US businesses on the cutting edge of innovation.

"International students are an important source of employees for US businesses while they are students and after they graduate. Finally, they become valuable employees and customers of US businesses whether they remain in the United States or return to their home countries," the companies said.

According to the IT companies, international students residing in the US make a substantial contribution to the country's GDP and have a particularly significant impact in towns and cities where colleges and universities are located. During the 2018-2019 academic year, there were more than 10 lakh such students attending institutions of higher education in the US.

Reducing by half or more the number of international students residing in the United States -- even for a single school year -- will hurt the economy, amplifying the adverse economic effects of the ongoing pandemic. International students contribute billions of dollars to the US economy each year. In the 2018-2019 academic year alone, "international students at US colleges and universities contributed nearly USD 41 billion to the US economy and supported 458,290 jobs", the companies said.

Observing that for every seven international students living in the US, three jobs are supported due to their presence, the companies said international education "ranked as the country's fifth-largest service export" in 2019. Small businesses -- from coffee shops to bookstores -- in communities around the country benefit significantly from the presence of international students, they said.

The companies told the court that if these students are barred from studying in the US until the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic ends, many of them will not return: they will switch to programmes of study elsewhere in the world. And without international students, many the US STEM programmes will contract sharply and ultimately cease to exist.

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