The University of Prince Edward Island saw a large increase in the number of fraudulent international student applications in the 2017-2018 school year, up to 50 while the number was only 10 two years ago. The director of recruitment at the university attributes 60 per cent to people who wanted to study but did not have the grades needed to enter the university, while he says the rest are people who are trying to gain access to Canada in order to work illegally.
400 who have been granted admission to Niagara College for January 2019 based on IELTS test results obtained in India, have been told by the college that they must retake their IELTS test or possibly lose their admission. This decision at the college follows the finding that the number of “at risk” students went from 150 last year to 300 in the fall term. The college subsequently performed an in-house English test and found that 200 did not have the proficiency they needed to pass their coursework and that 80% of those students had taken their IELTS test in India at test centers run by the Australian-based IDP Education.
Statistics Canada recently announced that the number of international students in Canadian postsecondary institutions has been on the rise for two decades. Int he 2016/2017 school year, international student numbers increased by 11.7% while the number of domestic students was almost unchanged.
The majority of international students continue to be from China, but the gains are attributed to the large increase in Indian students.
Manitoba plans to attract more immigrants to the province through the International Student Entrepreneur Pathway and Graduate Internship Pathway.
“By providing students a fast track to nomination for permanent residency, we hope to attract and retain more talented innovators and entrepreneurs from all over the world,” said Education and Training Minister Kelvin Goertzen. “International students bring new ideas, global connections and an entrepreneurial spirit to our province and when they create opportunities for themselves, Manitoba becomes more competitive and innovative.”
“To address an imminent funding shortfall, the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine is considering setting aside seats for international students and Western Canadian students willing to pay higher international-student fees.”
Peter Wylie, an economics professor at the University of British Columbia, argues that, as long as it is believed they can pass, international students with lower grades are admitted over domestic students. The governments of British Columbia and Canada have encouraged the University (and other post-secondary institutions) to admit as many international students as possible “becoming an important instrument of immigration, export and labour market policy, regardless of them meeting the admissions grades required of domestic students.”
There is a phone scam going on the in the Peterborough area targeting international students at Trent University and Fleming College. Students are receiving calls telling them they must pay a $2500 “Welcome to Canada Tax” and later receive a follow-up call by someone posing as a police officer. In the follow-up call they are told they will be deported unless they pay this tax… through a bitcoin machine!
The federal government and the PEI government have together granted $1.5 million dollars to the University of Prince Edward Island, Holland College and the College de L’Isle to assist them in recruiting international students. As the numbers of local students has been declining for several years, international students are necessary to keep the schools’ doors open it would seem. It would be curious to find out what the return on investment will be.
A recent probe by the Canadian Border Security Agency has revealed that many people are gaining entry to the country with student (and work) visas that were granted based on falsified university acceptance letters. 15 such people were discovered with fake acceptance letters to the University of Waterloo’ masters of engineering program.
This appears to be a growing problem. In 2017, 2779 of the 317000 study visas issued by Canadian consulates around the world were found to be based on fraudulent paperwork.