The federal government plans to spend $10 million in the next two years to promote international education, but while local colleges welcome the money, they say they have been doing a great job on their own.
Canada’s Education Strategy will spend the money to give Canadian students more opportunities to study abroad and to bring more students from other countries to study at Canadian institutions.
Langara College long history of international students
According to Ajay Patel, Langara’s dean of international education: “This college has always valued international students and has had a long standing history of having students, particularly from Asian regions, coming here to Langara.”
But he also said “it’s nice to see both the federal and provincial government taking that extra step and recognizing their importance.”
Patel doesn’t know how much of the money will be coming to Langara, which means he doesn’t know how the money will be spent.
“What we need to do is get more details about the budget, as we don’t know at this time what recommendations will be adopted,” he said.
International students about 10 per cent of Langara enrollment
There are currently about 1,100 international students enrolled at Langara.
Last year, Patel said all post-secondary institutions saw an increase in international student enrollment, but he couldn’t say why.
“I am not sure we can point to one single factor, but one of the key factors in speaking with students who choose Langara is that Vancouver is a preferred education destination because of our moderate climate, lifestyle and multicultural society,” he said.
On Tuesday, Patel said in an interview, “With international student recruitment, a lot of the provincial governments are using that as a method of bridging the gap with some of the skill shortages we’re going to see with our aging population.”
According to a study by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 2010, international students spent over $7.7 billion on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending.
Reported by Kristen Harpula