The Canada India Foundation (CIF) is appealing to the Government, Canadian Universities and Colleges to help International Students with a relief package so they can be relieved from the stress of paying their room rents and grocery bills.
It is no secret that along with Canadians, thousands of international students also find themselves in dire financial need during this COVID-19 pandemic. Majority of students meet their ends with temporary part time jobs but due to the present crisis they are running out of their resources as the help coming from their back home is also affected badly due to this pandemic.
In the last five years, Canada witnessed an exponential increase in international students. Of the over 600,000 international students studying across Canada over 200,000 are from India. Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) reported an increase of 154% international students in Canada during 2010-2018. The growth of Indian students to Canada was just under 350% since 2014. In 2019, out of 111,244 Indian students who received their visas, 73, 237 of them applied for colleges and most of them are in Ontario.
Mr. Anil Shah, Chair Canada India Foundation said that these students will play an important role as bridge builders between Canada and countries of their origin. They will also contribute their share in a future skilled workforce to complement the Canadian economy as most of them will stay back as permanent residents.
Mr. Satish Thakkar, National Convener, Canada India Foundation notes that international students are paying almost three times more fee than their Canadian peers which is a huge contribution to the Canadian economy. In 2018, international students in Canada contributed an estimated $21.6 billion to Canada’s GDP.
Mr. Pankaj Dave, National Co-convener, Canada India Foundation said that International students can work 20 hours a week as per their study permit, but the present reality is different. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several regular Canadian jobs have disappeared so it will be very difficult for international students to find a job to run their routine expenses.
It remains to be seen if and when the government puts together any package for international students given that millions of Canadians need financial help.