March 4th, 2024

U of L, college respond to international student caps


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on January 27, 2024.

Herald file photo Lethbridge College welcomed students ahead of the winter semester earlier this month for new student orientation. The federal government recently announced that it will set an intake cap on international student permit applications.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

After the federal government recently announced it will set an intake cap on international student permit applications to stabilize new growth for a period of two years, the Herald reached out to both post-secondary institutions on how this may affect them.

According to the Government of Canada website, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, 35 per cent fewer permits compared to 2023, with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allocating a portion of the cap to each province and territory, for them to distribute the allocation among their designated learning institutions.

The website specifies that current study permit holders will not be affected, as well as those pursuing a master’s and doctoral degrees, and those in elementary and secondary education.

It also explains that the number of new study permit applications that will be accepted in 2025 will be re-assessed at the end of this year.

In a statement the Lethbridge College says it has long been an attractive post-secondary destination for international students wanting to study in Canada. And this academic year, approximately 20 per cent of its student population has come from outside of the country.

 “While it’s too early to know how this two-year cap on international student admissions will affect our operations, we will work closely with the Government of Alberta to ensure we can continue to provide excellent education to all of our students, including as many international students as the provincial allocation allows,” says Brad Donaldson, President and CEO in the statement.

 The University of Lethbridge also provided the Herald with a statement and it says international students bring immense value to both the university and the region. Their diverse perspectives enrich classroom experiences, foster cultural understanding, and prepare all students for success in a globalized world.

 “Beyond academia, international students at the U of L contribute greatly to our community’s economy and culture. The U of L has carefully planned its enrolment profile regarding its mix of domestic and international students and works diligently to ensure our students, regardless of origin, have the supports they need to be successful.”

The statement explains that as individual caps have been established for each province and territory, and the Government of Alberta will be responsible for future allocation within the province, the university is actively working with the provincial and federal governments to understand how a national two-year cap on new study permits may affect the institution, students and the community.

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