B.C. pauses new international student applications at new colleges for two years

Click to play video: 'B.C. freezes international student applications for new post-secondary schools'
B.C. freezes international student applications for new post-secondary schools
The B.C. government is putting a two-year freeze on new private, post-secondary institutions. The stoppage gives the province more time to update and strengthen rules to protect international students and close immigration loopholes. Richard Zussman reports. – Jan 29, 2024

The B.C. government has announced it is pausing all new international student applications at new post-secondary institutions for two years to “eliminate exploitive practices and improve the quality of post-secondary education,” in the province.

Selina Robinson, B.C.’s Minister for Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, made the announcement Monday, saying the pause will allow the government to institute higher standards and greater accountability for the province’s educational institutions.

Click to play video: 'New requirements for international students'
New requirements for international students

“International students come here for a good education, but too many are being exploited or taken advantage of,” Robinson said.

Story continues below advertisement

“That’s why we’re introducing more stringent requirements for institutions and robust safeguards to protect international students against bad actors, provide them with a better path to success, and make sure B.C. continues to attract the talented students we need to fill significant gaps in the labour market and drive our economy forward.”

Robinson said institutions will no longer be able to take advantage of international students and will no longer be able to enroll international students if they don’t meet the provincial standards.

The pause will remain in place until February 2026.

Moving forward, the provincial government said it will inspect private post-secondary institutions more frequently, private degree programs will need to meet higher standards of approval, there will be minimum language requirements to help international students learn and public post-secondary institutions will be required to post tuition levels for students for the entire time they are studying.

“Today’s announcement is an important first step and an acknowledgment by the minister that international education in British Columbia needs more oversight,” said Melissa Chirino, chairperson of British Columbia Federation of Students, in a statement. “International students need and deserve more protections when they come to Canada. We look forward to working with the minister over the coming weeks to discuss our vision for a public post-secondary system that is forward-thinking and enables our institutions to adapt and thrive and deliver quality education to today’s and tomorrow’s learners as they were intended to.”

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'University professor weighs in on international student visas cap'
University professor weighs in on international student visas cap

B.C. has approximately 545,000 post-secondary students, which includes domestic and international students in the public and private sectors.

Of those, more than 175,000 are international post-secondary students from more than 150 countries.

More to come.

Sponsored content