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Reforming Canada's International Student Program: Insights from Senator Yuen Pau Woo

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

Embracing the Canadian Dream

As you set foot on Canadian soil, you embark on a journey that promises world-class education, breathtaking landscapes, and a vibrant multicultural experience. Canada's charm is undeniable, but beneath its inviting surface lies a complex tapestry of challenges and opportunities that shape the international student experience. We had a candid conversation with Senator Yuen Pau Woo, who shared his insights and reflections on Canada's educational landscape, offering valuable information for newcomers like you.

Senator Woo, who once walked in your shoes as an international student, brings a unique perspective to the table. His journey from international student to Canadian senator is a testament to the opportunities this country offers. He understands the hurdles you face when adapting to a new culture and educational system and is passionate about helping newcomers navigate these challenges effectively.

The International Student Conundrum: Navigating Growth

One pivotal topic dominating our conversation was the recent report by former Senator Sabi Marwah, Senator Ratna Omidvar, Senator Hassan Yussuff, and Senator Yuen Pau Woo. The report, “Strengthening the Integrity of Canada’s International Student Program”, delves deep into the complex landscape of international education in Canada, examining issues such as the exponential growth in international student numbers and the ensuing debates regarding their impact on housing availability and affordability.

"80 percent of international students would like to apply for the work permit and then the landed immigrant [status], but the numbers far exceed the planned allocation for landed immigrant status. So there's some responsibility also on the part of the federal government to be mindful that they cannot advertise something, knowing that the chances of a foreign student getting landed immigrant status are very small." — Senator Woo notes, highlighting the challenges faced by many of you who dream of calling Canada your permanent home.

In 2022, 95,000 international students transitioned to permanent residents, which is only 11.7% of the 807,750 international students holding valid study permits. This is an important fact that you should be aware of when making your decision to come or remain in Canada.

A Balanced Approach: Beyond Capping Numbers

While the report's findings are extensive, one key takeaway is Senator Woo's stance on capping international student numbers. He firmly believes that simply limiting student admissions doesn't address the root of the problem. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of enhancing the integrity of Canada's international student program.

"Strengthen the integrity of the program, and that may mean that the numbers peak or come down. And that's the way to think about what the numbers should be," Senator Woo explains. His approach prioritizes the quality of the program over arbitrary limits.

Empowerment Through Information

So, how does this all relate to you? Knowledge is your greatest ally. Senator Woo underscores the importance of being informed to make wise decisions about your education and future in Canada. He encourages you to have a clear understanding of the multidimensional challenges and opportunities that await.

In line with Senator Woo's vision, Thrivve empowers you with the information you need to succeed as a student in Canada. Our mission is to ensure you can make informed choices about your Canadian education journey, from selecting the right institution to understanding your pathway to future success.

We Need The Right Support Systems

In conclusion, the road ahead for international students in Canada is full of twists and turns. However, conversations like the one with Senator Yuen Pau Woo give us hope knowing that someone is addressing our best interests at a government level. The solutions do not lie in restricting student numbers but in creating robust systems that bring solutions where everyone can benefit.

You are an important piece of Canada’s puzzle and you bring so much value to this country. By embracing your culture and the one of those around you, you help build the multicultural fabric of this country and help its economy grow. Stay with Thrivve as you travel your academic journey and we’ll make sure your Canadian dream becomes everything you imagined, and more! 🌍📚✈️

It is thanks to you that we can have conversations like the one you just read and bring you the latest information on how to navigate your Canadian experience as an international student. So, if you like this and want to help other students, help us share the article.

We wish you the best.


Dear international students, IT'S TIME YOUR VOICE IS HEARD!

We are looking for students to answer this survey to help us better identify some of the challenges you are facing in hopes that we can take some action that supports people in their journeys.

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