“Decline in Indian Student Enrollment in Canada: Minister Attributes 86% Drop to Political Tensions”

Om Sharma
By Om Sharma 3 Min Read

JANUARY 17, 2024

“Amidst the India-Canada Row, it’s crucial to note that Indians constituted the predominant segment of international students in Canada, receiving over 41% of permits in 2022, totaling 225,835 individuals.”

“In a recent interview, Canadian Immigration Minister Marc Miller disclosed a significant decline in study permits issued to Indian students by Canada, attributing the sharp drop to the expulsion of Canadian diplomats processing permits by India. The diplomatic dispute, fueled by accusations linking Indian agents to the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar, has strained relations, and Miller anticipates a prolonged impact on study permit numbers, foreseeing a challenging rebound in the near future.”

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  1. Diplomatic Dispute Causes 86% Drop in Indian Student Enrollment in Canada: Late last year, the issuance of study permits for Indian students in Canada witnessed a drastic 86% decline, according to recent, unreported official data. The fallout is attributed to a diplomatic row between India and Canada, sparked by allegations made by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau connecting Indian agents to the murder of Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia. The expulsion of Canadian diplomats and strained relations have created significant obstacles for processing applications, leading to a sharp reduction in Indian students choosing Canada as their study destination.
  2. Canadian Immigration Minister Acknowledges Prolonged Impact on Student Permits: Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, stated in an interview that the strained relationship with India has significantly hampered their ability to process applications from Indian students. The fallout from the diplomatic tensions, including the withdrawal of diplomats and allegations against Indian agents, has created an uncertain environment for prospective students. Miller expressed skepticism about a quick rebound in the number of study permits issued to Indian students, emphasizing the enduring impact of the political dispute on the bilateral relationship and its repercussions on educational ties.
  3. Financial Blow to Canadian Universities as Indian Students Seek Alternatives: The diplomatic discord between India and Canada has not only led to a decline in study permits but also prompted Indian students to explore educational opportunities in other countries. With Indian students forming the largest group of international students in Canada in recent years, the 86% drop in the fourth quarter of last year is a significant setback for Canadian universities. International students contribute approximately C$22 billion ($16.4 billion) annually to the Canadian economy, and the slowdown poses a financial challenge to institutions. The Canadian government, facing challenges of housing shortages and an overwhelming influx of students, plans to introduce measures to reduce the volume of international students, including a potential cap and addressing concerns about postgraduate work permits.
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