Indian students interested in overseas business education are particularly concerned about political noises in the US and the Brexit fallout in the UK.
For the whole article, visit LiveMint.
A recent change to international student visa requirements has caused concern among Nova Scotia’s English language schools, reports CBC. Introduced in July, the new legislative changes require international students in Canada to obtain a second visa before moving from secondary to postsecondary school. “What happened before the changes is students could apply for language training and university training and receive one study permit to cover the whole of the time that they were going to be in Canada,” says Sheila Nunn, president of East Coast School of Languages in Halifax. “This gave them the confidence that they knew that they would go on to the university, they didn’t have to apply for any other paperwork.” Nunn adds that the new regulations might jeopardize pathways programs currently established at NS universities.
Source: ICEF Monitor
The Canadian government has quietly introduced an important change to how it processes visas for students entering Canada to pursue conditional admissions or pathway programmes. Under the new processing policy, visa officers are instructed to issue a study permit – that is, a Canadian study visa – only for the period of the student’s prerequisite studies. After successfully concluding any such preparatory studies, the student will now be asked to apply for a further study permit to cover the period of their planned academic programme. This is a departure from the previous practice which saw visa officers issue a single study permit for the entire duration of both programmes.
For the complete article, please visit ICEF Monitor.
Canada will have to closely monitor the performance of its shifting policies toward education- and business-based immigration if it wishes to preserve its fundamental diversity, writes Jennifer Nees, a Toronto-based business immigration lawyer. While the Pan Am Games have given Canadians recent cause to celebrate their country’s diversity, Nees adds that “the last seven months have shown a different story in terms of our current immigration policy.” While earlier systems might have offered a clearer path for foreign students to obtain work permits and begin new careers in Canada, Nees adds that “now, however, these students are getting lost in a maze of complex new systems with operating glitches and inconsistent processing.”
According to the Edmonton Journal, Alberta’s international students are facing wait times of up to three months and are consequently being kept from presenting their research at conferences around the world. These students currently cannot leave the country without renewing their Canadian permits and visas unless they risk significant delays upon re-entering the country. These delays can affect their standing in university programs where many have studied for several years. Marcella Cassiano, a third-year PhD student in sociology at the University of Alberta, said, “International graduate students are highly mobile people. We cannot afford to be grounded in Canada for five months waiting for document renewal and miss the opportunity to present our research in international conferences.”
Source: The PIE News
Canada’s visa woes continue as multiple internal government reviews have revealed delays and errors in visa processing, seeing processing times increase by a third for study permits and double for permanent residence permits.
Members of the Canadian Bureau for International Education are “deeply concerned about the ballooning processing times that affect both their current and prospective students”, according to its vice-president, membership, public policy and communications, Jennifer Humphries.
“Timeliness, or its opposite, makes a huge difference in the choices that students make for their future,” she told The PIE News.
“To achieve the ambitions of Canada’s International Education Strategy, it is critical that government departments work together cohesively and make their shared objectives the priority, not departmental interests,” she urged. “It’s also critical that sufficient resources be allocated to deliver on the objectives.”
To read the full article, please visit The PIE News.
According to a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) report obtained by the Globe and Mail, insufficient resources and lack of coordination have contributed to a 30% increase in processing times for study permits and a doubling of the processing time for temporary resident visas. While the federal government has pledged to double the number of international students by 2022, it has not provided sufficient resources to do so, according to [CIEC Academic Member] Western University President Amit Chakma. Universities Canada President Paul Davidson said, “the question of visa processing times is a critical one in terms of attracting top students. If our competitors are able to turn around visas faster, all the marketing efforts, all the recruitment efforts, all the offers of scholarships fail.”
Source: Deutsche Welle
EU countries make it too difficult for foreign students and scientists to come to European universities. The EU Commission wants to change visa processes and entry requirements – yet deeper problems remain.
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EU Commission, had just informed journalists about a Cyprus bailout plan when a young student from Benin, a small country in western Africa, walked up to the microphone.
Bellarminus Kakpovi is currently studying political communications in Belgium’s capital. His path to a European university was not an easy one.
“I had to wait for my Belgian visa for more than three months,” he said. “Students who wanted to go to France had their visas after two weeks. I don’t understand [why] there are such different rules in the EU.”
The student is in fact the invited guest of Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. Befor Malmström spoke, she allowed the student from Africa to take the floor and talk about his experience with European bureaucracy. Malmström is now introducing a program for improved conditions for students from non-EU countries.
Member state difficulties
Every year, more than 200,000 students and researchers from non-EU countries come to Europe to study. But the visa application process differs from one EU-member state to the next. Each country has its own rules about allowing foreign students and scientists to come to that nation’s universities. Transferring from one member-state to another can be difficult as well.
The EU Commission wants to make the European Union even more desirable as a center for higher education, on par with the US and Australia. To that end, the Commission aims to standardize entry requirements and improve conditions for young academics. In the future, member states should handle visa applications in no more than 60 days, the Commission says. Transfers between universities in different member-states should be easier, and students should be allowed to work at least 20 hours a week.
More measures are necessary
Ulrich Grothus at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) also believes that Europe still has to become more attractive for students from non-EU countries. He sees other issues besides entry requirements and visas, though.
“The demand for English-language graduate programs is much higher than the supply in Germany,” he told DW.
Furthermore, foreign diplomas allowing students to apply for university need to be looked at individually, and not by country, he says, to see whether they should be recognized by EU-countries. “With a high school diploma, an American can apply to some of the best universities in the world in her home country. But it doesn’t qualify her to study in Germany,” Grothus said.
He’s in favor of an exam to individually test foreign university applicants. But different educational systems in EU member states, it will be hard to find an EU-wide testing standard.
Step in the right direction
Sandra Haseloff, head of the division for scientific cooperation at the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, sees the EU’s new suggestions as an important step. “I think and hope that things will be easier. That goes for the handling time of visa applications as well as for the inner-European mobility for students – for example, when they’re in an international PhD program.”
Haseloff thinks that working 20 hours a week while being a full-time student is quite a lot. German law allows foreign students to work 120 full days – or 240 half-days – a year. That includes internships, even unpaid ones. At the EU level, however, there are no such laws.
The European Parliament and the European Council will now discuss the propositions put forth by Commissioner Malmström. The Commission hopes the new laws will come into effect as early as 2016.
And while that may not help Bellarminus Kakpovi from Benin, who will most likely have graduated and received his Belgian diploma by then, it may help students like him.
“…We believe that you will find our recommendations supportive of the objectives of the regulatory changes. Several suggest changes in language for purposes of clarity. Others are more substantive, for example, seeking to recognize that secondary school and pathways programs are increasingly important components of international education in Canada. As we noted in our letter last July in response to the notice of proposed changes, a third of international post-secondary students in CBIE’s 2009 national survey said that they had studied either at a Canadian secondary or language school prior to entering a Canadian college or university.
We appreciate CIC’s consultative approach over the past few months. Our Immigration Advisory Committee members took part in meetings in several provinces. CBIE and our partners in the Canadian Consortium for International Education Marketing (CCIEM) appreciated the opportunity to provide views during the meeting held last week in Ottawa.
Moreover the Consortium values our ongoing relationship with CIC. We believe that discussion of issues and possible solutions in our quarterly forum will be even more important once the regulations are finalized and signed into law, and when implementation takes centre stage.
As noted in the attached Comments and Recommendations document, we understand that a Working Group will be established to examine operationalization issues. We would be pleased to contribute our expertise to this effort.
In closing, CBIE values its partnership with CIC and looks forward to continued dialogue in support of our shared goals in international student policy and practice.”