Fanshawe’s ‘sales pitch’ to international students misses the mark: consultant

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“Family fortunes have been mortgaged on this sales pitch. I think it’s worth talking about.

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A licensed immigration consultant in London is sounding the alarm over a practice he says is luring some international students to Canada thinking they will get permanent residency and jobs, only to learn they lack the language skills necessary to succeed.

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“It’s not about education; this is definitely immigration for the vast majority of recruits (international students) at Fanshawe College, this is how its agents sell it overseas,” says Earl Blaney of Canada Network, adding that the practice occurs also in other Ontario colleges.

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Blaney says his contract with Fanshawe College was not renewed after he raised concerns about waiving English proficiency for international admissions from some countries like the Philippines, where he also has an office, he said. he declares.

“At the end of the day, Fanshawe holds the promise of jobs and citizenship,” he said. “My concern with this is that there is neither.

“There is no data to suggest that Fanshawe is successful in advancing students toward either.”

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Blaney said he deals with many international students, but the majority of his clients are Filipino.

While English is one of the Southeast Asian country’s two official languages, he said proficiency in the language “is not uniform there”.

“I see students coming into my office every day who are really struggling,” he said. “They are very stressed and realize that (studying in Canada) will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

“Family fortunes have been mortgaged on this sales pitch. I think it’s worth talking about.”

Fanshawe responded by saying that all students applying to Fanshawe from countries whose official language is not English must pass an English proficiency test or provide proof that they have the required high school English grade.

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International students come from 119 countries and the total graduate employment rate is 83.1%, the college said. Fanshawe did not provide employment rates for international students only.

“It is essential that students have adequate knowledge of written and spoken English, appropriate to the program to which they have applied,” Fanshawe said in a written statement. “Applicants for whom English is a second language must provide proof of English language ability as part of the application process.”

International enrollment at Fanshawe College jumped 26% this fall, with 4,200 students coming from countries including India, Nepal, Nigeria, China, Colombia, South Korea and Vietnam.

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Wendy Curtis, dean of international students, said last month that new students were a way “to support the labor market”.

“Our national student population has shrunk. Based on demographics, it is expected to return to higher levels in a few years,” she said. “This is one of the main reasons why we are accepting more international students than before. We have the ability to do that.

Under a study permit, international students can come to Canada to learn and apply for a work permit that can lead to permanent residence.

“They make great future citizens and employees,” Curtis said.

But Blaney said “at most, our system can only absorb 30% of those international students.”

“The vast majority of the expansion has come at the community college level,” he said.

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“It’s because it’s affordable,” he said.

The average annual tuition cost for an international student is around $16,000, while a year at a Canadian university can be two to three times higher, he said.

A recent report, Course Correction: How International Students Can Help Solve Canada’s Labor Crisis, examines how Canada can better meet the needs of its changing labor market.

“For many, a Canadian education may not produce the desired return on investment,” the report states.

According to the report, Canada is the third-largest destination for international students, after the United States and Australia.

They represent 20% of all students enrolled in Canadian post-secondary institutions.

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Many international students may “not understand the challenges of Canada’s high cost of living, labor market, or complicated work permit system,” he said.

“Canada needs college-educated students to address labor shortages across the economy,” the report said. “But some students in short-cycle programs have a longer path to the job market and permanent residency, and some may have no path at all.”

Colleges Ontario declined to comment, saying in an email, “We have nothing to do with how each individual college operates.”

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities was unable to respond to a request for comment due to time constraints.

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