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Principles for Higher Education and Immigration Policy

A group of graduating students tossing their motarboards in the air, as is tradition.

Immigration is widely acknowledged to be a key element of Canada’s past and future success and international students are an important part of the country’s future labour force and society.

However, in the face of rising infrastructure constraints – including pressures on housing, health care, and other services – the federal government recently announced an intake cap on international undergraduate study permit applications for the next two years. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will only process a maximum of 606,250 study permit applications in 2024.

Today, Ontario’s post-secondary education system is in a precarious position, putting at risk our ability to attract the best and brightest to boost Ontario’s economic potential. Intersecting and often uncoordinated policies across all levels of government have contributed to this situation. Policies related to student visas, immigration, housing, and post-secondary education funding are all connected and span across various levels of government – making coordination a key element of success.

Going forward, the Board believes action from both provincial and federal governments must reflect the following public policy principles: 

  • Prioritize ‘raising living standards’ as the primary objective for economic immigration
  • Avoid the use of blunt policy tools
  • Take a strategic and outcomes-based approach to allocate permits
  • Increase clarity and transparency for new processes
  • Protect and empower Ontario’s post-secondary education system

To read our complete analysis, please download the report using the link below.

Read the brief

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