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Canada Hikes Financial Requirements for International Students

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Canada Hikes Financial Requirements for International Students

Canada's Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, has announced a significant increase in the financial requirements for international students planning to study in the country. The required proof of funds will see a dramatic rise from $10,000 to $20,635, a move designed to address fraudulent applications and to ensure that international students can comfortably cover their living expenses while studying in Canada.

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Implications for Prospective Students

This decision is expected to enhance transparency regarding the cost of living in Canada. However, the high cost of education coupled with living expenses may deter many potential students. Jawad Chowdhury, of Memorial University's student union, expressed his concerns regarding the impact of this decision on the number of incoming international students. He attributes the steep increase in housing and tuition expenses partly to the government's budget cuts.

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Work Limitations for International Students

In addition to the increased financial requirements, the government is pondering the reinstatement of a 20-hour work limit per week for international students. While proponents believe this could help students concentrate more on their academic pursuits, critics argue that many students rely on full-time work to fund their stay in Canada.

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Combating Fraud and Exploitation

Wanda Cuff-Young, a recruiter, supports the new financial requirements as a measure to combat fraud. However, she suggests a more gradual implementation to ease the transition. Cuff-Young also highlights the need to tailor educational programs to meet the labor market's needs. In her opinion, educational institutions, referred to pejoratively as 'puppy mills,' that fail to provide legitimate educational experiences and stable job prospects, are exploiting students.

The government's changes aim to safeguard international students from potential financial vulnerability and exploitation. They also seek to ensure that these students have adequate resources to sustain a comfortable life during their study period in Canada. The implications of these changes for Canada's international student community will become clear in the near future.

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