The aggregate number of Indian students who arrived in Canada to attend colleges and universities over 2016 has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, as it is expected that the number of those enrolling in 2017 could reach a record high.
Data revealed by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for study permit holders by country of origin shows that Canada welcomed 31,975 students from India in 2015. Their numbers increased to 52,890 by the 2016-year-end. Meanwhile, the number of Indian students entering Canada until August 2017 already touched 44,855, making it almost certain that the students’ number will touch record numbers by the 2017-year-end.
One of the reasons Canada is attracting more Indian students wanting to pursue higher education is due to the unfriendly vibes being shown towards immigrants by the US administration headed by Donald Trump.
One of the major beneficiaries of this trend has been the University of Toronto, also referred to as UofT, which seen many Indian students enrol in it. The number of Indian students enrolling in this institution has grown by almost 66 percent.
Professor Ted Sargent, vice-president international of UofT, was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that he thought it happened because the initiative being shown by the present government to reach out to countries worldwide in a bid to continue making Canada a welcoming country, especially at a time when most other nations in the world are adopting restrictive policies towards foreigners.
Talking about UofT, he said that they were in this unique situation owing to the fact that they are located in the heart of Canada’s largest city, which is very multicultural and highly accommodating. He said that it was working to Canada’s advantage when other countries are being highly sensitive to the issue of immigration.
On his second trip to India, Sargent is a delegate of a ‘university-wide approach’ that was initiated in 2016. He added that as they go in the fall to increase interest among prospective applicants from India, they will arrive again in March to follow up with these prospective Canadian students so that they could help them arrive at their decision eventually. Sargent said this strategy, which is undoubtedly new for them, represents a heightened focus on engagement with India.
Some others showing interest in this area of transnational movement of students have eagerly observed this new trend as well as Ravi Jain, a leading lawyer with a Toronto-based firm. Jain said that he witnessed massive interest among Indian students, be they Indians based in India or in the Gulf nations. He accepted the fact that the American policy was helping these students in preferring Canada over their neighbouring nation.
Besides the nativism attitude of the US, he said that they were also aware of the harsh reality of spending many years to obtain a green card in the US while in Canada, most of their permanent resident applicants get to move to Canada in just four months.
Canada is clearly trying to make most this situation. Sargent said that to put a positive spin to it, Canada has always celebrated multiculturalism and it sees immigration as a means to attract the best talent from all over the world.
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