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Ottawa will shut down shady post-secondary institutions if provinces don't: Miller

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 27 Feb, 2024 10:40 AM
  • Ottawa will shut down shady post-secondary institutions if provinces don't: Miller

Immigration Minister Marc Miller says Ottawa is ready to step in and shut down shady schools that are abusing the international student program if provinces don't crack down on them.

Miller says there are problems across the college sector, but some of the worst offenders are private institutions — and those schools need to go. 

"There's responsibility to go around," Miller told reporters Tuesday on Parliament Hill. 

"I just think that some of the really, really bad actors are in the private sphere and those needs to be shut down."

The minister said provinces are responsible for addressing problems in the post-secondary sector with regards to international students. 

But he said if they won't do it, Ottawa will — though there are "jurisdictional questions" around what the federal government can do.

A sharp rise in foreign student enrolments has sparked scrutiny of the international student program and prompted the Liberals to put a cap on new study permits for the next two years. 

More than 900,000 foreign students had visas to study in Canada last year, which is more than three times the number 10 years ago.

Critics have questioned the dramatic spike in international student enrolments at shady post-secondary institutions and flagged concerns about the program being a back door to permanent residency.

Miller touted the federal government's plan to recognize post-secondary institutions that have higher standards for services, supports and outcomes for international students as one solution.

"The recognized institution model that we launched in the fall still is very pertinent to this discussion, because we will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff," Miller said.

"And perhaps even — if provinces don't assume their responsibility — shut down institutions ourselves if they don't do a good enough job."

 

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