CANADA: Colleges see surge in Indian applicants

Canadian colleges opened their doors last week to accommodate a huge surge of new students coming from the Indian subcontinent. The Association of Canadian Community Colleges, or ACCC, is projecting about 12,000 Indian students.

At one institution, Centennial College in Toronto, staff members have been greeting students at a welcome booth at Pearson International Airport for the past two weeks.

The popularity of Canada as a higher education destination for Indians has been growing over the past several years. Statistics from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office in India recorded a 511% increase in the number of students coming to study between 2007 and 2010 - from 1,503 students in 2007 to 9,176 in 2010.

Rudy Sabas of the ACCC attributed much of the college-level growth to the successful Student Partners Programme, an administrative framework designed and implemented through a partnership between CIC India and the ACCC.

Established in April 2009 with 20 participating member colleges, it has since grown to encompass 43 colleges in six provinces across Canada.

He said Indian students are attracted to Canada for its business and engineering programmes. One-third of the students are high school graduates, while the rest are three-year university graduates who hope that postgraduate diplomas will improve their employment chances.

Many are also interested in taking advantage of the immigration pathway Canada offers international students who wish to become permanent residents.


Dear James Raider. Initially you sounded educated, but it is difficult now to assess that. Who on earth told you that these students get free medical coverage or, in fact, anything free. It is a universal truth that these students on average pay more costs, per capita, for any needs or services provided to them.

And by the way, the immigration system that you actually seem to complain about, is a well-thought of and scientific system, to ensure enough workforce is available for all Canadians to get paid social securities. Migrants have, on an average, 20+ years of employment left when they enter. The taxes paid by them ensure people get to pay internet bills using social security and get upset about their assimilation. Whats wrong if they would later sponsor crowds behind them? Most people who got in through earlier 'fair assessment' (sic) mechanisms also took the same route.

Bobby Awasthi

Any wonder when they get in and three months later they get free medical care? Then they can sponsor another crowd behind them.

Canadians are sitting idle as their taxes rise to pay others for the privilege of claiming welfare and Canada Care.

Well done.

James Raider

Having an educated population is one of the best investments a country can make in it future. A TD Canada Trust study recently pointed out that an education is the best investment return possible in a lifetime; the same applies on a national scale.

Canada should nurture and develop a culture of education for the good it will mean to all Canadians who live in a nation that benefits from the high standards of living that are undergirded by an information-based economy.

People with education are more likely to be employed. Employed people are good for the economy. A good economy is good for you. From India or Kitchener, the net benefit of people en masse being educated in Canada, particularly if they secure employment and stay here, is great.

Julia Wagner, McGill University