According to the chair of a national organization, Canada is missing out on thousands of additional international students studying at private career colleges by not making them eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
Patrick Dang, head of the Seymour Education & Learning Centres (SELC) in Vancouver says that by making these students eligible for a PGWP, Canada would increase enrollments in private educational colleges to a record high. Currently, only international students enrolled at public universities and private degree-granting institutions are eligible to apply for a PGWP.
According to the National Association of Career Colleges (NACC) that represents 500 regulated career colleges across the country, more international students attending private institutions will stay back in Canada if they are given access to the PGWP. The NACC is currently lobbying Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to change its PGWP policy. The NACC states Canada is losing around $120 million in revenue every year by not allowing international students to apply for PWGP.
Allowing international students enrolled at private institutions to apply for a PGWP will add thousands of jobs in the job market, according to the NACC.
Why Is There a Call to Expand the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program?
The recent call to expand the PGWP program to include international students graduating from private institutions comes after a series of global surveys showing that Canada is the top destination for international students from all over the world.
One of the surveys conducted by IDP Connect found that more than 1/3rd of the students surveyed chose Canada as their top choice for post-secondary education. The survey had 3,650 respondents from over 55 countries. Of the 1/3rd students who chose Canada as their top choice, 72% selected Canada for the ability to work while studying, 66% prioritized the affordability of tuition fees while 64% selected Canada for its affordable cost of living.
According to IDP, the availability of immigration options and post-study work permit options play a huge role in attracting international students to Canada. International students are focused on future career opportunities with financial considerations in deciding where to study. Canada is especially popular as a study destination for students from Asia, with a significant number coming from Commonwealth countries.