Saturday, May 18, 2024

Hundreds of international students in limbo after Ontario college revokes admission offers

Toronto, Aug 10 (IANS) Hundreds of international students, including Indians, have been left in limbo after a college in Ontario revoked its admission offers for the coming academic year, according to a media report.

Some 500 foreign students recently received an email from Northern College telling them that their admission has been withdrawn, CBC News reported.

While a few of them have already landed in Canada, there are others like Ashley from India, who has already paid registration fees and booked her flight from Punjab to Toronto, costing her over $2,200.

“It was very heartbreaking for me… It was not a normal process for us as international students who have used all the savings that we have had,” Ashley, who quit her job in India to study in Canada, told CBC News.

She had booked herself at Scarborough’s Pures College of Technology, an affiliate of Northern College, to study healthcare administration, and had found herself a place to live in the Greater Toronto Area. Her admission acceptance letter came in February this year.

“I don’t know how to cope with this. I am in depression… I just want to have a valid solution for my situation,” she said.

In an emailed statement to CBC, Pures College said it was “ready, willing and able to accept all international students who received letters of admission”, but its affiliate, Northern College, decided against doing so.

Pures said that as a private college in a partnership with a public college, it is not the final decision-making authority in the admissions process.

Northern College said the problem was caused by Canada approving more visas for international students than expected.

CBC News cited David Francis, director of strategic initiatives for Northern College, as saying that it’s the responsibility of Northern College to estimate how many visas will be approved ahead of each semester.

This means the school gives out more acceptance letters than it can accommodate under the assumption that some of the applicants will have their visas denied.

Further, Francis said many students apply to multiple schools, and Northern College assumes some of the students they accept will choose to enrol in different institutions.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told CBC News that it is “very disappointed” in how Northern College handled the situation, adding it doesn’t have authority to manage letters of acceptance for individual institutions.

While Pures College said it will continue to work with its counterpart and students to sort out the issue, Francis said that the students will be refunded or transferred to different schools.

“The college is willing to work with students on a case-by-case basis,” Francis told CBC News, adding that the students who had already arrived in Canada will be treated as priority cases.

International students are allowed to study in Canada based on their college acceptance letters, which they must present to the immigration authorities upon their arrival.

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