Northern College Responds to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Announcement

January 25, 2024

TIMMINS, ON:  Northern College, alongside Ontario’s 23 other Colleges, is currently working diligently to gain further insight and understanding into the realities of the recent Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada announcement made by Minister Marc Miller on Monday.

The announcement, which can be found here, outlines a 35 percent reduction to international student visa approvals in Canada for the next two years. This reduction will be spread out across Canada’s provinces and territories, along with limitations to post-graduate work permit approvals for public/private partner institutions.

Currently, the onus is on provincial bodies to handle the implementation of these changes. As a result, Northern is working closely with both Colleges Ontario and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan) to gain a better understanding of what this may mean for Northern College, its campus communities, and the region.

Northern College is concerned about what this change will mean for future students, particularly those currently in the process of confirming their enrolment, as this decision and its impacts come in the middle of the acceptance and registration process for future semesters.

Northern is working diligently to keep students – both current and future – apprised of these policy changes and how it affects them.

The College had already begun taking steps in reducing international enrolment after a survey was done of available housing for new arrivals. It had also eliminated the spring/summer intake in May in order to allow northern communities to adjust to the current student population.

Northern volunteered to be part of a pilot program for establishing international quality assurance measures for post-secondary education in the province and has been participating in an audit of student supports as part of this important initiative to establish guidelines and increased services to those studying at the post-secondary level.  Sustainable growth and program excellence has been at the heart of all initiatives undertaken.

At this point in time, there is very little detail on the nuances of this latest announcement and its implementation, and Northern College is concerned about the effects this will have on training of workforce, as well as economic development in the north.

Northern College will continue to advocate for the northern region from both levels of government and seek more specifics as it relates to these significant changes to College education in the province of Ontario.

Northern will continue its work in delivering high quality, industry-informed and labour market specific training to both domestic and international students who play such a key role in the future economic growth and stability of northeastern Ontario.

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