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Enrolment and graduation rates continue rising in Canada

Stats Canada recently revealed that the school year of 2017/2018 was the third consecutive year of increases in enrolment and graduation from postsecondary institutions. Our readers will not be surprised to also learn that this growth was largely attributable to international students, whose numbers increased 15.6%. The increase in domestic students was much more modest at 0.2%.

Read more from StatsCan.

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Computer edition of CAEL to be delivered in China

In the summer, Paragon Testing (a subsidiary of the University of British Columbia) announced that it had signed an agreement with the National Education Examinations Authority of the Chinese Ministry of Education to deliver the Canadian Academic English Test in the People’s Republic of China.

Read Paragon Testing’s news release.

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Chinese government-sponsored student groups in Canada

There is some controversy around The Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), which has many chapters across the west. In October at Thompson Rivers University, students participated in a university parroved military-style flag raising. The groups have been criticized as being steered by Chinese consulates or embassies, which attempt to control Chinese students studying abroad.

Read more in the Prince George Citizen.

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New app uses AI and voice recognition to improve pronunciation

Apparently Vietnam is a new hot spot for tech investment and one company which has received millions of dollars of investment is Elsa. Launched in 2016, it boasts over 4 million users in over 100 countries. Van Vu, a Vietnamese woman now living in the United States, is a co-founder and the CEO of the company. She struggled with being understood when she first came to the US and that was part of the inspiration for coming up with Elsa.

Read more in Nikkei Asian Review.

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Indian students now outnumber Chinese on Canadian campuses

Last year, there were 172,000 Indian students with study visas in Canada while there were 142,000 Chinese students. The number of Chinese students last year was up by 30%, which points to the incredible resent surge of Indian students. The cheaper Canadian dollar helps, but more important is the greater ease in receiving work permits and a path to citizenship. Canada has Donald Trump to thank, partly at least, as the US is proposing stricter issuance of foreign-worker visas.

Read more in The Globe and Mail.

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Relying on international students is dangerous, says professor

With the recent diplomatic spats with China and Saudi Arabia, Canadian post-secondary institutions are increasingly aware of how vulnerable they are to global affairs. A professor at UPEI says that with 25% of their student body being international students from China, an escalation of tensions threatens the finances of the institution and the local economy. He makes the sensible argument that diversification is essential so that should one nation should cease to send students, universities and the local businesses that serve them will not be threatened.

Read more in The Journal Pioneer/ The Guardian.