How Canada views study abroad admissions amid COVID-19 Fallout?
As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies across the globe disrupting social order, world economies and study abroad plans, the resulting impact is being increasingly felt among top MS destinations for study abroad students like Canada.
While incoming students with valid study permits continue to ponder over their educational future amid the prevailing uncertainties, the closure of borders due to mounting health crisis has prompted the federal government of Canada to review and relax their schools’ and universities’ admission procedures and requirements in light of the current developments.
Let us understand what this effectively means for international students and the Canadian government.
While under normal circumstances, international students must attend classes in-person to be eligible for the work permit, the recently announced relaxations, in keeping with the times, state that students scheduled to start in May or June (Summer 2020) can attend 50% of their classes online from their home countries and still be considered for the work permit. Though this announcement may come as heartening news for Summer 2020 students, further efforts are on to ensure that students are not penalized if they are unable to attend classes in person for the remainder of their program.
The opportunity to register online would facilitate incoming students to make it to Canada whenever it is deemed safe to travel and take their respective programs in-class.
What is interesting to note is that similar pro-student initiatives and flexible measures are likely to be worked out for fall enrolments-as this is the time when more than 50% of international students register for abroad education. Though it is hoped that the virus curve would flatten by the time the fall season comes around, there is likely to be a contingency plan in place to onboard fall students online if the situation does not stabilize.
The road ahead for the fall intake students is quite unclear at this point. What is evident is that the Canadian schools and universities are likely to incur a substantial financial loss if students decide to defer their admission plans or Canada rescinds proactive measures like online registration.
Considering the financial ramifications that Canada would have to undergo in the event of not being able to onboard international students this time around, one hopes that a win-win situation will emerge for all the stakeholders concerned: the Canadian government, university and schools and most importantly study abroad students agonizingly waiting to make it to their dream MS destination – Canada!