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As Canada announces 2-year cap, a lowdown on overseas study options for Indian students

As Canada announces 2-year cap, a lowdown on overseas study options for Indian students

In response to Canada’s recent announcement of a two-year cap on new international student visas, Indian students are exploring alternative overseas study options. This overview delves into popular destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, presenting a snapshot of key considerations, costs, and notable institutions. As the landscape evolves, Indian students are navigating a diverse array of choices to pursue their academic aspirations.

Canada recently unveiled a two-year cap on new international student visas, citing an escalating housing crisis, a decision that is expected to have a significant impact on Indian students. A staggering 40 percent of Canada’s international student population hails from India, positioning Canada as the top choice for Indian students studying abroad.

According to Immigration Minister Marc Miller, a total of 364,000 new permits will be approved in 2024, a move that will undoubtedly affect the aspirations of Indian students planning to pursue education in Canada.

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However, in light of this development, prospective Indian students have various alternative study destinations to consider, each with its own set of attractions. Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States (USA) emerge as popular choices among Indian students.

Australia, for instance, hosted approximately 1.24 lakh Indian students out of a total of 7.68 lakh in 2023, according to data from the Australian government’s education department. The cost of pursuing an MBA in Australia averages $60,000 (₹33 lakh) for one year. Notable institutions such as the University of Sydney, University of Melbourne, UNSW, Monash, and Queensland are among the preferred choices.

New Zealand, despite being a relatively small island nation with only eight universities, stands out as an affordable option for Indian students. The cost of an MBA in New Zealand can be as low as NZ$50,000 (₹25 lakh). After completing their studies, students have the opportunity to stay for up to three years on a work visa. Prominent universities in New Zealand include the University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, and Massey University.

The UK, following the reinstatement of a two-year post-study work visa in 2021, has seen a resurgence in the number of Indian students. While the tuition fees range from ₹20-25 lakh annually for most courses, prestigious institutions like Oxford and Cambridge charge significantly higher amounts. For instance, an MBA at the University of Oxford costs nearly ₹83 lakh (£78,510) for tuition alone. Popular choices among Indian students in the UK include Oxford, Cambridge, King’s College, LSE, UCL, and the University of Manchester.

In the USA, where over 2.68 lakh Indian students are currently enrolled, the emphasis on Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a key attraction. This program allows students to engage in one year of temporary employment, a valuable aspect of studying in American universities. However, the financial aspect should be considered, with annual tuition reaching as high as ₹40 lakh for top colleges. Renowned institutions like Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Penn, Cornell, Brown, and Chicago are among the sought-after choices.

In light of the evolving landscape, Indian students exploring global education options can consider these alternatives, each offering a unique set of benefits and opportunities.

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Canada’s Efforts to Stabilize Growth and Reduce New International Student Permits for 2024

Press Release: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Ottawa, January 22, 2024—International students play a vital role in enhancing Canada’s communities, contributing to its social, cultural, and economic landscape. However, recent years have seen challenges to the integrity of the international student system. Some educational institutions have excessively increased enrollments to boost revenue, leading to inadequate support for students. The influx of international students also strains housing, healthcare, and other services. To safeguard international students and promote sustainable population growth, the Canadian government is taking steps to stabilize the influx of international students.

Today, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the Government of Canada will implement an intake cap on international student permit applications to stabilize growth over the next two years. For 2024, the cap aims to approve approximately 360,000 study permits, marking a 35% reduction from 2023. Provincial and territorial caps have been established, proportionate to population size, resulting in more substantial decreases in provinces with unsustainable student growth. Renewals of existing study permits and certain educational programs, such as master’s, doctoral, and elementary/secondary education, are exempt from the cap, ensuring current students are not affected.

Each province and territory will receive a portion of the cap allocation from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which they will distribute among their designated learning institutions. Effective January 22, 2024, all study permit applications submitted to IRCC must include an attestation letter from the respective province or territory. Provinces and territories are expected to establish processes for issuing these letters to students by March 31, 2024.

These measures will be in place for two years, with a reassessment of new permit applications for 2025 at the year’s end. Throughout this period, the Canadian government will collaborate with provinces, territories, educational institutions, and stakeholders to develop sustainable strategies for international student intake, including establishing recognized institution frameworks and ensuring adequate student housing.

In alignment with these changes, adjustments will be made to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

Effective September 1, 2024, international students enrolled in study programs under curriculum licensing arrangements will no longer be eligible for post-graduation work permits. This change addresses concerns regarding oversight and eligibility loopholes associated with these programs.

Graduates of master’s degree programs will become eligible for a 3-year work permit, providing them with more time to gain work experience and potentially transition to permanent residency.

Additionally, open work permits will be limited to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs, excluding spouses of students in other study levels.

These measures complement recent reforms to the International Student Program, aiming to support genuine students while stabilizing student arrivals and relieving pressure on Canadian infrastructure.

For more information, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

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