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Reforms to the international student program
Comments from Alex Usher and Mike Moffatt
Slowing the growth in international student numbers is now on the agenda, but it’s unclear exactly what the federal government should do. A couple Twitter threads.
1/ The real problem with the federal approach to student visas/housing is that if you listen to them, it's genuinely unclear what problem they think they are trying to solve. This is going to lead to some truly crap policy-making.
To summarize, he makes the following points:
IRCC shouldn’t try to assess educational quality.
IRCC shouldn’t try to assess the adequacy of an institution’s housing policy.
Thread time. I think the feds are right to scale back student visas. But I think the approach they're taking here is overly complex and doomed to fail.
There's a better, easier approach.
He proposes changes aimed at reducing demand, which are under federal jurisdiction:
Strengthen the financial criteria for approval (basically, how much money a student needs to have, to demonstrate that you can support yourself).
Reduce the number of hours that a student can work off-campus (presumably back to 20 hours/week).
For the people telling me that the Feds can't impose conditions on international students on housing.
They already do.
Students need to show they can afford to live here. And the Feds define "afford to live in Toronto" as $833 a month for rent, food, etc.
Literally, *all* the Feds would have to do is raise this threshold (which hasn't changed since 2009) to the actual cost of living, to ensure that students have the resources to support themselves.