Cape Breton University President David Dingwall is calling on the Federal Government for more support for international students currently studying in Canada.
“I congratulate the Government of Canada for its leadership in supporting post-secondary students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) is unparalleled and acknowledges the contributions that post-secondary students make to our country and the impact they will have on its future,” says Dingwall.
The CESB was announced yesterday but not all post-secondary students are eligible to apply.
“Although this benefit is welcome news, by limiting the benefit to only Canadians and permanent residents, it fails to recognize the contributions that international students make to Canada and its post-secondary education system – diversifying our classrooms and learning experiences, enhancing and expanding research capacity and helping to advance communities across the country,” he says.
“Like Canadian students, international students are facing hardship due to COVID-19. Many rely on employment during the summer months to help support their education and gain experience to reach their career goals, an option that is now in jeopardy. Opening the CESB to international students will send a strong message, ensuring Canada remains a top educational destination for international learners,” says Dingwall.
The potential economic impact that is at risk is significant. “In 2020, it is estimated that international students stimulate about $22 billion in annual economic activity in Canada, a substantial increase from 2016 when the impact was $15.5 billion,” he added.
The Association of Atlantic Universities reported in October 2019 that Nova Scotia was home to 11,817 international students studying at universities across the province. “The impact on our small province is enormous,” said Dingwall. “I am confident that Universities Canada and its members will continue to advocate for our international students.”