Some good news has come in for young Indians aiming to study in Canada. The number of new immigrations to be allowed into the country in 2017 was kept at 300,000, the same as 2016. However, though there was a drop in the intake of refugees, the targets for categories most used by Indians (economic and family unification classes) were raised. Refugees and citizenship minister also reportedly admitted recently that international students were being short-changed by unfriendly policies and laws that made it difficult for them to become Canadian citizens. An announcement would change things soon, he promised. The minister admitted that international students were not treated well and that they were among the most promising group of immigrants – as they were young, could speak English or French and knew a lot about Canada. “We’re going to give them more points under express entry and make it easier for them to become permanent residents,” he promised.
However, even before these friendly moves, Canada’s new education policy in 2014 had marked India out as a priority country. Universities Canada (then the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada) played an active role in consultations led by the Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy. It highlighted Canadian universities’ commitment to internationalization and interest in a multi-faceted approach to international education, including two-way international student and faculty mobility, international research collaboration, joint academic programming etc. Universities of Canada noted that the rapidly emerging economic powers (Brazil, China, India) were priority countries for many Canadian universities, which were also building people-to-people linkages and institutional partnerships with other emerging markets on the horizon. “The development of Canada’s International Education Strategy was informed by recommendations in the Advisory Panel’s final report,” a Universities Canada official said.