International Students – Ontario’s Cash Cows?

By Mark Langer, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

Excerpt from: May 4th, 2010
Full article at:–opinion-international-students-ontario-s-cash-cows

The 2010 Ontario budget announced Premier Dalton McGuinty’s plan to “open” the province to the world. This is an admirable goal, although one wonders how “closed” Ontario—one of the most multi-cultural provinces in Canada – actually is. Nevertheless, a centrepiece of the Open Ontario strategy is an emphasis on post-secondary education. Specifically, the premier plans to aggressively recruit international students with an eye to increasing their enrolment in our colleges and universities by 50 per cent. This certainly sounds impressive. But we need to be sure that the Ontario government’s intentions here have the best interests of international students at heart.

No doubt international students are good for Ontario’s universities. They enrich the diversity and depth of the
classroom experience and, as the premier rightly observes, they improve our connections with the economies
and societies of other nations. If McGuinty wants to expand these benefits by bringing more students to Ontario, the more the better.

But the premier wants Ontario to follow the Australian model, where international students are that country’s third biggest industry. This is worrying . . .

This entry was posted in Budget/Crisis, Education Quality/Learning Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

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