Canada's Immigration Minister Marc Miller has emphasized the critical role of provinces in managing the growing number of international students in the country. With over 800,000 international students in 2022 and expectations of reaching 900,000 by the end of 2023, Miller highlighted concerns about sustainable numbers and the need for robust discussions between provinces and Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs).
Provincial Responsibility in Education and DLI Model
Education in Canada, including for international students, falls under provincial jurisdiction. Each province determines which institutions can become DLIs and accept international students. However, some DLIs have been accused of exploiting the system for profit, compromising the quality of education promised to international students.
While IRCC is considering capping the number of study permits issued annually, Miller expressed reservations about a blanket cap, preferring targeted actions to avoid penalizing compliant institutions.
DLI accreditation varies across provinces, with Ontario leading with 529 DLIs, followed by Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta. Schools must meet provincial standards and then receive a DLI number from IRCC.
DLIs issue Letters of Acceptance (LOAs) to international students, key for study permit applications. However, concerns have risen about DLIs accepting more students than they can support, leading to situations like Northern College's revocation of admissions for over 500 international students.
IRCC is implementing new measures to strengthen the International Student program:
These measures aim to prevent fraud and ensure that international students receive the education and support they expect and deserve.