How will the international student cap impact Alberta?

Students and post-secondary leaders say new measures from Ottawa around international students may not impact Alberta that much.

With Ottawa announcing a cap and other restrictions on international students — post-secondary and student groups in Alberta say while they wait for details from the province — the issues Ottawa is trying to solve aren’t here in Alberta.

Alberta is in a good position right now. We do have one of the lowest numbers of international students per capita if you look across the provinces,” said Nancy Thornton, the director of international markets. “So it does signal that Alberta will be able to grow.”

While those running post-secondary institutions say there are just too few details right now on how the federal governments 35 per cent cap on international students will roll out, there will be impacts. 

RELATED: Feds announce two-year cap on international student admissions

Those representing post-secondary students say Ottawa’s plan could make college more expensive for domestic students as well.

“Domestic students could be hit with a spike in other fees to offset the costs that were previously accounted for by projected international enrollment tuition numbers,” said Celia Sutton, Chair of Alberta Students’ Executive Council.

The Executive Students’ Council is also calling for an end to a cap on work hours for international students. Part of Monday’s announcement included restrictions on post-graduate work and working permits for spouses. 

While Canada’s immigration minister called out some private-public career colleges targeting international students with work visas while providing inadequate education, Sutton says that hasn’t become an issue yet in Alberta.

“I am not sure exactly how Alberta will be effected by this. But it seems like some province’s will see a change happening here,” said Sutton.

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