The Canadian government has announced that it will invest CAD $10 million over a period of five years, to allow post-secondary and mid-career professionals from Southeast Asia to study at Canada’s world-class educational institutions.
The announcement was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), regional forum in Manila, Philippines. Present at the two-day conference were foreign ministers and government officials from all 10 ASEAN member states, namely: Cambodia, Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In the last three years, over 12,000 students from ASEAN countries were enrolled at various Canadian universities and colleges.
Shedding more light on the announcement, Minister Freeland is quoted as saying “Canada welcomes with open arms students from ASEAN. Providing educational exchanges to these promising young people will empower them and ensure that they can be real agents of social and economic change in their communities and countries. Their contributions to Canadian classrooms will also enrich the experience of their peers and are a vital part of Canada’s multicultural society”.
Why study in Canada?
1. World renowned universities
Canada tops the list of educational spending per capita of all the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Canadian universities are internationally regarded for their high academic standards and emphasis on research in post-secondary education.
In 2016, eight Canadian universities claimed Top 100 spots in the ARWU Shanghai Rankings (University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, McGill University, McMaster University) while five more ranked in the Top of the QS University Ranking (Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal, University of Alberta, Queen's University, University of Waterloo). Besides, the Canadian government and private sector support research in a number of cutting edge fields, including telecommunications, medicine, agriculture, computer technology, and environmental science.
2. Big country, low living costs
Despite the high education standards, the cost of living is comparably affordable compared to other countries such as the U.K. and U.S.
3. Commitment to culture
A vibrant cultural life is a Canadian imperative; in fact, a government policy specifically mandates diversity. Nearly all of the globe’s ethnic groups are represented and bring with them everything from new perspectives to culinary delights to exciting recreational activities. Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto -- the country’s largest cities -- are celebrated as safe, accessible and culturally rich world-class cities with beaches, museums, restaurants, shopping and more.
4. High employment rate
Job prospects are very h3 for international grads in Canada. The countries’ universities boast links to over 5,000 global collaborations with various companies and conglomerates. Combined with the fact that international students are among the best performing students and with Canada’s focus on industry-specific applied research. It is little surprise that more than 90% of Canadian alums are employed less than 6 months after graduation.
5. Education is the governments' priority
Through Canada’s International Education Strategy it was announced that the goal is to double the number of full-time international students to 450,000 by the year 2022. The Canadian Council of Ministers of Education prioritises attracting international students in all education sectors through a number of strategies. The plan is not only about recruiting, but also retaining graduates after graduating by offering them more opportunities for Canadian students to work abroad while studying and remain in the country as permanent residents.
Over the last few years, Canada has continued to rise a top education destination for international students. This despite the different policies in individual provinces, there is a common commitment to an equal chance in school.
There is a strong sense of fairness and equal access - and this is seen in the high academic performance of migrant children. Government statistics show that the children of new migrants have scored as high as the rest of their schoolmates.
It makes Canada one of the few countries where migrant children achieve at a level similar to their non-migrant counterparts.
Another distinguishing feature is that Canada's teachers and tutors are well paid by international standards - and entry into teaching is highly selective.