Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced on January 22 that the Canadian government would place an intake cap on international student permit applications for two years to stabilize new growth.

For this year, 2024, the cap is anticipated to result in approximately 360,000 authorized study permits, a decrease of 35 per cent from 2023. The federal government noted that in the spirit of fairness, individual provincial and territorial caps have been established and weighted by population, resulting in much more significant decreases in provinces where the international student population has seen the most unsustainable growth.

file photoMarc Miller  Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. (Photo Credit: Marc Miller on Facebook.)

This cap will not impact study permit renewals, and those pursuing master's and doctoral degrees, as well as elementary and secondary education, are not included in the cap. Current study permit holders will not be affected.

"International students enrich our communities and are a critical part of Canada's social, cultural and economic fabric. In recent years, the integrity of the international student system has been threatened. Some institutions have significantly increased their intakes to drive revenues, and more students have been arriving in Canada without the proper supports they need to succeed. Rapid increases in the number of international students arriving in Canada also puts pressure on housing, health care and other services. As we work to better protect international students from bad actors and support sustainable population growth in Canada, the government is moving forward with measures to stabilize the number of international students in Canada," the Canadian government said in a news release.

Although this news has come down, there are still many uncertainties surrounding the official logistics of the student cap. PortageOnline contacted the Red River College Polytechnic (RRC Polytechnic) Portage Campus to see how this would affect the students' intake.

Emily Doer, a communications and public relations representative with the school, said that RRC Polytechnic is aware of the new measure the government is taking, which will impact international student recruitment to Canada.

"It is still too early to speculate about what kind of impact this may have at RRC Polytech, and we remain committed to working with the province and federal government to fully understand how these new measures will be implemented. International students bring a wealth of knowledge, new perspectives, and cultures to Manitoba's communities, schools, and workplaces. RRC Polytech has always taken an incremental and balanced approach to international student recruitment. The goal is to provide a positive and high-quality academic learning experience for international students with the necessary services and supports in place, while ensuring we continue to meet the workforce needs of Manitoba. Our programs and credentials are tied directly into labour market needs here in Manitoba, and international students who graduate from RRC Polytech are helping contribute to the economic growth of Manitoba in a variety of sectors," noted Doer in an email.

The economy of Canada has benefited significantly from international students, who spend $22.3 billion annually on tuition, accommodation, and other expenses, as reported by Global Affairs Canada in 2020.