The publicly financed institutions in Ontario have established new safeguards for foreign students studying in Canada. The scope of this legislation includes information and marketing, recruiting and training, as well as settlement and post-graduation services. This section will provide a comprehensive discussion of the new regulations.
Coverage of the Regulations
Last year, there were 807,750 international students at all levels of study in Canada, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education. Indian students represented 40% of the total international enrollment, while Chinese students represented 12%. International students comprised 30% of overall enrollment at Ontario’s public colleges in 2020, with tuition payments totalling $1.7 billion and accounting for 68% of total tuition fee revenue.
New Rules to Safeguard Foreign Students
To protect international students studying in Canada, publicly financed universities in Ontario have adopted new international education best practices. Concerns regarding the maltreatment of international students, especially the dissemination of false information by unscrupulous recruitment agencies, prompted the establishment of these regulations.
The new laws create minimum industry standards and stricter criteria for enforcement. They require universities to verify that their marketing materials comply with the law and are not deceptive, which includes not guaranteeing academic, immigration, or job outcomes. In addition, universities are required to terminate contracts with any education agent engaged in “serious, deliberate, or ongoing activity that is untrue, misleading, deceptive, or in violation of the law.”
Private Universities Included
The new requirements involve both publicly financed and privately funded colleges. Public-Private College Partnerships (PPP) include taxpayer-funded institutions providing curricula to private career colleges for a charge; these colleges then employ their professors to conduct academic programmes. As of June 2021, eleven of Ontario’s twenty-four public universities partnered with twelve for-profit private career colleges, enrolling over 24,000 international students, up from 14,698 in 2018. Several of these partnerships did not adhere to enrollment criteria, and their quality assurance and student assistance operations could be improved, according to the provincial audit of 2021.
Colleges Ontario has published a twelve-page set of standards of practice for international education, which all twenty-four members of the organisation are expected to implement by June 2024. Seneca College is not a signatory since it intends to issue a comparable statement for both its domestic and international students.
Normalization of Procedure
According to Linda Franklin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colleges Ontario, it is essential to standardise the laws throughout all Ontario public institutions so that overseas students know what to anticipate. “Some universities perform some tasks more effectively or differently than others.” Franklin stated that it would be vital to standardise this so that foreign students would have a very clear understanding of the offerings in Ontario regardless of which door they decided to enter.
Safeguarding the Reputation of Ontario
The laws are intended to preserve the reputation of Ontario as a safe, inviting, and great educational destination for overseas students. Franklin underlined the significance of preserving Ontario’s image as an outstanding site for overseas students. Franklin stated, “Our reputation in the world and the continuation of our standing as a safe, inviting magnificent nation…” There are already numerous incentives for international students to select Canada, and we would never want to jeopardise any of them by claiming that we are inferior to any of them.
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