Canada is taking significant steps to make its education system even more welcoming and reliable for international students. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is introducing a “Trusted Institutions Framework” in 2024.
In this article, we’ll explore the details of this Trusted Institutions framework and why it matters for students from around the world.
What Is the Trusted Institutions Framework?
The Trusted Institutions Framework is a new plan introduced by IRCC to strengthen the integrity of Canada’s international student program. This Trusted Institutions framework aims to create a two-tier model for issuing study permits, making the process smoother and more efficient for students.
What are Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs)?
DLIs are the backbone of Canada’s international education system. They are colleges, universities, and educational institutions authorized by Canada’s provinces and territories to admit international students.
The Trusted Institutions Framework’s Key Criteria
- Sustainable Intake: DLIs must demonstrate that they can consistently accommodate international students without compromising the quality of education or the student experience.
- Identifying Genuine Students: DLIs should have processes in place to identify genuine students, ensuring that only those who genuinely want to study in Canada are admitted.
- Monitoring and Reporting Compliance: DLIs are expected to have systems in place to monitor student compliance with visa regulations and report any issues promptly.
- Safe and Enriching Experience: DLIs must provide a safe and enriching experience for international students, ensuring they have access to essential services and support.
Key Indicators for Trusted Institutions
To earn the Trusted Institution status, DLIs will need to report specific data. These indicators include:
- Retention Rates: This measures how many international students continue their program after the first year. High retention rates indicate student satisfaction and a strong program.
- On-Time Program Completion: This metric assesses how many students finish their programs within the advertised time frame. It reflects program quality and students’ ability to complete their studies as planned.
- Percentage of Revenue from International Tuition: This shows how much of a DLI’s total tuition revenue comes from international students. A higher percentage suggests a greater commitment to international education.
- Scholarships for Students from Less Developed Countries: DLIs will be evaluated based on the dollar value and percentage of scholarships and grants provided to international students from countries on the UN Least Developed Countries list. This promotes accessibility and diversity.
- Funding for International Student Support: DLIs must invest in support services for international students, including mental health services, career counseling, and immigration guidance. The value of these supports will be assessed.
- Availability of Housing: The total number and percentage of international students living in housing administered by their institution will be considered. Safe and accessible housing is crucial for international students.
- Teacher-Student Ratio: The average teacher-student ratio for the 10 courses with the highest enrollment of international students will be evaluated. Smaller class sizes often lead to a better learning experience.
Data Sources for Assessment
The information needed to assess DLIs as Trusted Institutions will come from two main sources:
- DLIs Themselves: DLIs will provide data on the indicators mentioned above to demonstrate their commitment to international students.
- Canadian Government Data: IRCC will also collect data from the Canadian government. This data includes study permit approval rates, country of origin of students, and post-graduation outcomes, such as transitioning to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
Immigration Minister: Canada on track to Welco 900,000 international students this year
In 2022, Canada welcomed a record-breaking 551,405 international students from 184 countries. By the end of 2022, there were 807,750 international students in Canada holding valid study permits, a substantial increase from 2019.
In 2019, there were 637,860 international students in Canada and a total of 400,600 new study permits were issued. Canada now has nearly 170,000 more international students at the end of 2022 than in 2019.
In 2022, the top 10 source countries for new international students coming to Canada were:
- People’s Republic of China
- Republic of Korea
Addressing Housing Challenges
Canada is facing a housing crisis, with a need for millions of new homes. To address this issue, the federal government is considering capping the number of international students coming to Canada to study.
This measure, along with the Trusted Institutions Framework, aims to enhance the international student program’s benefits while addressing challenges like housing and fraud.
Immigration Minister’s Perspective
Immigration Minister Marc Miller stated that Canada is on track to welcome around 900,000 international students in a year. While there are discussions about capping student arrivals, Miller emphasizes the need to focus on system integrity and other challenges beyond housing.
Immigration Minister Marc Miller has avoided committing to the idea of a hard cap on the number of international students coming to Canada.
“Just putting a hard cap…is not the only solution to this. Core to this is actually trying to figure out what the problem is we’re trying to solve for. It isn’t entirely housing, it’s more appropriately the integrity of the system that was mushroomed, ballooned in the last couple of years.”Immigration Minister Marc Miller
Canada’s Trusted Institutions Framework is set to make the international student experience even better. It will ensure that colleges and universities provide a safe and enriching environment while addressing key challenges.
This initiative reflects Canada’s commitment to maintaining its position as a top destination for international students. As the program continues to evolve, students from around the world can look forward to an even more rewarding educational experience in Canada.