International students in Peterborough targeted with fraudulent “Welcome to Canada Tax”

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!

Read more in the Peterborough Examiner.

Keeping PEI schools open with funding to recruit more international students

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.

Read more on CBC.

Visa scam involving fake university acceptance letters

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.

Read more in the Waterloo Region Record.

Degree not a prerequisite for a job with some tech companies

Shopify recently announced that they – like Apple and Google – do not require a post-secondary degree from job applicants. In fact, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke said, “One of the ingredients in Shopify’s success has been to completely ignore academic credentials in hiring.”

We’re not sure if there is any connection here to the ESL world, but as people in education, we found this story interesting and thought you might too.

Read more in The Ottawa Citizen.

Rising populism and nationalism affect higher education

Most people reading this blog will already be well aware that Trump has had a negative effect on the international student enrollments in American colleges. An interesting article in Inside Higher Ed takes a larger look at political changes around the world and how they have altered the choices that international students have been making in their study destinations.

Read the article in Inside Higher Ed.

Domestic students ambivalent about international students

While politicians and administrators at post-secondary institutions regularly extol the many benefits of international students, a recent study shows that domestic students in western institutions are generally not enthusiastic about studying alongside them. Concerns include that international students “require more attention”, “slow down the class” and that because of them “academic discussions are of a lower quality”.

Read more in Inside Higher Ed.

Recruiter says post-secondary institutions are exploiting international students

While provincial governments across Canada have encouraged post-secondary institutions to boost their international student enrollments for numerous reasons including promoting the fostering of “global citizens”, it is clear that the most important reason is to compensate for funding shortfalls. Indeed, it is estimated that international students will account for 20% of the student body of Ontario post-secondary educational institutions by 2022 .

Mel Broitman, who recruited international students for the University of Windsor for 15 years, claims that these educational institutions do not care about international students except for their money. While international students contribute substantially to the coffers of the post-secondary education system, there are not sufficient extra programs and support put in place to service the needs of these students.

Read more on CBC.


Faculty perceptions of international students

A survey conducted recently of DePaul University professors revealed that faculty believes the greatest challenges international students face are limited language proficiency and different cultural expectations of academia.

“On the one hand, faculty have good things to say about international students and they appreciate their presence, but at the same time they don’t know what their role is or they don’t know how to make changes in the classroom to adjust to these students,” Jason Schneider, an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse at DePaul, said in summarizing the results of a literature review on the topic.

The results go much further than this. Read a report in Inside Higher Ed.