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British Columbia Takes Bold Steps to Curb Exploitation of Foreign Students

In a bid to eliminate exploitative practices and ensure the well-being of international students, the province of British Columbia in Canada has announced stringent measures to crack down on misuse within the international student system. Following Ontario’s lead, British Columbia aims to protect students and strengthen the quality of post-secondary education by implementing new safeguards.

Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills Minister Selina Robinson emphasized the province’s commitment to taking action against bad actors preying on international students. The announced measures include a two-year pause on approvals for new post-secondary institutions seeking to enroll international students. Additionally, British Columbia will conduct more frequent inspections of private post-secondary institutions to ensure compliance with quality standards and adequate support for students.

Private degree programs will face higher standards for approval, encompassing criteria such as degree quality, demonstrated labor-market need for graduates, and sufficient resources and student support. The Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills underscored the province’s dedication to eliminating exploitative practices and enhancing the overall quality of education.

During a press conference in Surrey, Minister Selina Robinson stated, “International students come here for a good education, but too many are being exploited or taken advantage of.” The new requirements aim to prevent institutions from taking advantage of international students and will restrict the ability of private institutions to host international students if they fail to meet provincial standards for quality education.

This announcement follows similar measures undertaken by the province of Ontario to safeguard the integrity of its post-secondary education system. Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, introduced measures such as placing a moratorium on new partnerships between public and private colleges to address potential misuse of credentials.

With over half a million international students holding study permits in Canada at the end of 2023, British Columbia and Ontario host significant numbers. The new measures underscore Canada’s commitment to protecting the interests and well-being of international students, particularly addressing concerns related to exploitation and substandard education.

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