Fleming College president calls international student cap ‘rash decision’; Trent University ‘disappointed’

Click to play video: 'How the new international student visa cap could impact Trent University, Fleming College in Peterborough'
How the new international student visa cap could impact Trent University, Fleming College in Peterborough
RELAED: Germain Ma takes a look at how the federal government's two-year cap on the number of permits for international students coming Canada to study could impact international students attending Trent University and Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont – Jan 22, 2024

The president of Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont., says a new federal two-year cap on international student visas is a “rash decision” that will have human and economic impacts in the region.

On Monday, the federal government introduced the cap, which will reduce the student intake to Canada over the next two years, according to Immigration Minister Marc Miller.

“In order to maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada, as well to ensure that there is no further growth in the number of international students in Canada for 2024, we are setting a national application intake cap for a period of two years for 2024,” Miller said.

Fleming College president Maureen Adamson on Tuesday released a statement saying the cap has created a “great deal of uncertainty” for the college community, students, faculty, area businesses and the broader community.

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“I want to be very clear that the international students currently enrolled in Fleming at all our campuses including Fleming College Toronto are not affected by this announcement,” she said. “However, the new international students that have applied for spring and fall 2024 sessions will be impacted by this announcement.

“This announcement has an immense adverse human and economic impact for our region.”

Adamson says local economies benefit with international students attending campuses in Peterborough, Lindsay and Haliburton.

“It is important to recognize the relationship between international students and our local economies,” she said. “The implementation of an international student caps poses a threat not only to the educational experiences of all of our students but also to the vitality of our regional economy. The economic impact of a 50 reduction of international student enrollment will be a staggering loss to our communities: Peterborough, Lindsay and Haliburton.”

International students make up nearly 30 per cent of Fleming’s student population. Adamson says the human impact of the cap is “just as startling.”

She says the impacts of a cap will be most pronounced for Early Childhood Education, Personal Support Workers, and Practical Nursing – “people who look after our loved ones.”

Adamson also says many international students bring top talent for key sectors of the workforce, both locally and across Ontario.

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“They usually come with a diploma or degree and are ready to move quickly into the labour market,” she stated. “Our college graduates contribute to help close some of the largest labour market gaps in Ontario’s key sectors – health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, automotive, mining, trades and construction, advanced manufacturing and others.

“We cannot adequately emphasize the gravity of this rash decision on the people; students, our college, community and local businesses and partnerships,” she concluded.

Trent University

In a statement to Global News, Trent University in Peterborough says it is currently reviewing the  government’s announcement regarding international student permits, and supports the position taken by the Council of Ontario Universities which stated it is “disappointed” with plan. The council says the cap may have “unintended consequences” for the sector and international students.

“Trent has been a responsible player in the postsecondary sector, basing international student enrolment on the unique needs of our communities and regional labour market demands,” the university stated.  “The international students who come to Trent bring enormous advantages to our campuses and beyond, introducing highly-skilled, worldly talent, and bridging cultures in ways that benefit our local economies and our communities as a whole.

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“We take a measured and sustainable approach to international enrolment and none of Trent’s degrees, certificates or programs operate through public-private partnerships.”


Click to play video: 'Impact of international student cap in Ontario'
Impact of international student cap in Ontario

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