Canadian province British Columbia
Canadian province British Columbia

Canadian province places two-year ban on colleges enrolling international students

Canadian province British Columbia has imposed a two-year ban on new post-secondary institutions from applying to enrol international students, as the province seeks to eliminate "exploitative practices" that have plagued the education system.

Post-Secondary Education Minister Selina Robinson announced last Monday that the freeze is necessary to correct faults in an international education system that "has not been working as well as it should." 

Robinson said the province began looking into the system last March and found instances of "poor-quality education, a lack of instructors," and even the "scaring away" of students from lodging formal complaints by certain private institutions. 

Of the 175,000 international post-secondary students from more than 150 countries in B.C., about 54% are enrolled in private institutions. 

There are 280 of those private schools in the province, and 80% of them are in the Lower Mainland. 

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Robinson also announced that the province was setting minimum language requirements at private institutions so international students would be "better prepared" before coming to British Columbia. 

More details on the language requirement will be released in March, Robinson said, as work is still being done on that front. 

The province will step up inspections of the schools to ensure standards are met, Robinson said, adding that many students are being taken advantage of. "They worry that if they complain, it will risk their student visa, and it will sacrifice all the effort their families have put into making sure they can get a quality education," she said. 

"So, they're less likely to complain. As a result of hearing that, we're going to be developing a system where we'll be on-site and doing a more proactive evaluation of programs."

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