Studying in Canada: Hike in cost-of-living threshold a reality check - The Tribune India

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Studying in Canada

Hike in cost-of-living threshold a reality check

Studying in Canada


Starting next year, international students applying to study in Canada will need to show that they have access to C$20,635 instead of the requirement of C$10,000 that has been in place for two decades. This is in addition to the cost of travel and tuition. Canada’s rationale is that being transparent about the cost of living and studying would ensure that those who apply are prepared for the economic reality of that country. They would, therefore, be less vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous institutions and shady employers. The new financial requirement may lead to fewer applications. It’s a cue for India to focus on providing quality education and offering ample opportunities to students to pursue varied fields of interest.

The lure of permanent residency has led countless families into a debt trap, with youngsters staring at an uncertain future and recruiters as well as fly-by-night educational establishments minting money. Freelance agents continue to operate in an unbridled market in India. Institutions in Canada have been asked to responsibly manage the number of international students they accept, considering their ability to provide housing or assistance in finding off-campus accommodation. The warning to address the fraud and abuse within the system can set the stage for potential visa limitations.

From July to October, the number of applications for new study permits from India dropped to 86,562 from 1,45,881 during the same period last year. The decline is being largely attributed to Indian students taking to social media to highlight the hardships they are facing in Canada. One can only hope that the revision of the cost-of-living threshold would deter many parents from mindlessly sending their children to the Maple Country. The stark contrast between the promise of a rosy future and the reality of students scraping by in exploitative jobs needs to be emphasised.

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