Visa Crunch

Canada’s 2022 Budget Aligning With Priorities Of Higher Educational Institutes

The Canadian budget for 2022 is mostly “aligning with college and institute aims,” and they will play a “key role,” but few measures are “specifically aimed” at the postsecondary sector, according to stakeholders.

Over the next five years, the Canadian government will provide CAD$385.7 million to “enable the prompt and efficient admission of an increasing number of visitors, workers, and students.”

“The new budget commitments will contribute to the long-term competitiveness of Canada’s immigration system,” Universities Canada president Paul Davidson told The PIE News.

“We look forward to working with the government on the implementation of these commitments to ensure international students benefit from timely and accurate visa processing,” he added.

Although post-secondary education is not the main focus of the budget, which was unveiled on April 7, CICan acknowledges that colleges and institutes are receiving promising measures, such as “welcoming students back to Canada.” Given the fact that few policies are specifically aimed at the postsecondary sector, budget 2022 includes several new initiatives on the environment, labour market, innovation, and economic growth that correspond nicely with the interests of our members.

It is apparent that colleges and institutes will play a critical role in fulfilling the government’s goals, whether they be to stimulate the economy, boost innovation, achieve net-zero emissions, or assist Canadians in difficult times. The budget includes a section titled “Immigration Levels Plan.” In addition to “strong global humanitarian commitments” and “assisting reunited family members with their loved ones,” it vows to “continue to be home to the talents of those currently in Canada,” especially overseas students.

“International students will play a critical role in Canada’s social and economic recovery post-Covid, and over the long-term,” a representative of the Canadian Bureau of International Education told The PIE.

“We are hopeful that this [$385.7m] investment will help to streamline and simplify processes, address current backlog of applications and build towards a future where visitors, workers, and students feel confident in their decisions to make Canada their temporary or permanent home,” they continued.

The Immigration Levels Plan, which may result in an even stronger Canadian international graduate route to permanent residency, has been guaranteed $2.1 billion over five years and $317.6 million in continuous support, including the pledge to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan refugees. Considering that Canada is the top choice location for “one in every four prospective students,” the commitment to international students is encouraging.

The CBIE, on the other hand, suggests that access to a “wide variety of settlement and wraparound support services is required.” Strategies that strive to build community relationships and bridge university and community experiences throughout the student journey would benefit overseas students. A further encouraging component of the budget directly affects schools and their domestic student cohorts, since the Canada Student Grants amount will be quadrupled until next July, and interest on Canada Student Loans will be eliminated until March.

Furthermore, Davidson stated that while “significant commitments” have been made in terms of scholarships and the like, it has not yet gone far enough in terms of keeping up with the rest of the globe. Budget 2022 includes significant expenditures in scholarships and fellowships for promising black student researchers, new Canada Excellence Research Chairs, support for building research security at Canadian universities, and funds to support commercialization.

CICan agreed with this approach, advising the government to consider the infrastructure footprint of the country’s “686 college campuses,” which should have been considered while assessing the country’s “green infrastructure initiatives.” It also stated that the extra funds made available for research security were a “pleasant” development – and that “combined with last year’s investments” into the College and Community Innovation Program, research partnerships will be reinforced as a result.

While the need for international talent remains a priority, the CBIE has acknowledged that it is not always in the best interests to try to recruit consistently. It’s not that all international students who apply to Canadian universities want to stay after finishing their studies, which is neither beneficial for Canada nor the source nations.

A calibrated strategy would assist in guaranteeing that we are not stealing talent from weaker or less resilient countries that badly need to protect and build their human capital, according to the CBIE official.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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