The higher education sector in Ontario was surprised by the announcement of budget cuts imposed on its universities recruiting international students. The 2012 budget plan was announced by the provincial government that funds to Ontario’s institutions will be decreased by at least CAN$750 for every first-year foreign student they recruit starting from the year 2013 under the International Student Recovery Scheme. Also the government is withdrawing subsidies given to foreign recruitment and study abroad Scholarships.
This decision was struck odd as Ontario receives 40% of all foreign students coming to Study in Canada and given that Open Ontario’s aims at increasing international students by 50%. Universities say that this move will force the institutions to increase the tuitions fees for foreign students to provide funds for resources. This will make it harder for Ontario to compete with other provinces and on the international front.
The new move of budget cuts goes sharply against the Open Ontario’s plan announced in the year 2010. The plan aimed at increasing the number of international students by 50% in 5years. As per the government, 75% of the target was achieved by colleges and universities. However, the new budget will become a major setback for this plan.
Sources from the University of Toronto stated that they may lose their status as top international student recruiters to other universities. The universities are left with no choice but to increase the tuition fee that may affect a potential international student’s decision to join universities in Ontario.
The government of Ontario stated that it had taken the decision after considering many factors. The decision was only made after TheInternational Student Recovery scheme had put into consideration the quality of education in Ontario, opportunities for work experience and employment in Canada if the students want to stay back after graduation.
Canada is one of the most popular destinations for higher education due to its relaxed visa policies, low tuition fee and more work opportunities. Ontario recruits the highest percentage of international students in Canada. 96,808 temporary students were studying in Ontario’s universities in the year 2011 while British Columbia comes in second for hosting 66,556 foreign students.
Source: The Pie News
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