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Decline in Indian Student Applications to Canada Raises Concerns

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Toronto: There has been a decrease, in the number of students applying to study in Canada during the latter part of this year. Specifically, between July and October 2023 the applications for study permits from India have experienced a decline dropping from 145,881 last year to 86,562 this year. This represents a 40% decrease, in applications. This decline is the first of its kind since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

The strained relationship between India and Canada does not seem to be the reason behind this pattern. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement regarding potential links between Indian agents and the killing of Khalistani figure Hardeep Singh Nijjar came on September 18, well after the downward trend had become evident.

According to Better Dwelling, an outlet that first reported these falling numbers, international students’ challenging experiences in Canada are more likely to have contributed to this decline. Numerous students have turned to social media platforms to express their challenges in coping with the cost of living and unmet prospects while residing in Canada.

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According to data substantiated by the Hindustan Times, which was obtained from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) there is a trend, in the annual intake numbers.  In 2021, IRCC received 236,077 applications from Indian students, which rose to 363,541 in 2022. However, by October 2023, only 261,310 applications were received. This deceleration has had a significant impact on overall application numbers.

In August this year, Sean Fraser, Canada’s Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities proposed limiting international student intake as an affordability measure. It now seems that this suggestion was made when policymakers were already aware of falling application numbers but hadn’t yet disclosed this information.

As nearly half of international students in Canada are Indian, this drop in applications has ramifications for higher education institutes’ growth rates. The total number of applications last year stood at 736,166 and, with the current pace, the growth rate seems set to decrease, reaching only 724,611 by the end of October. Better Dwelling predicts that if this trend continues, it could lead to single-digit growth by year-end – a remarkably different scenario from the 33% growth seen in 2022 and the 152% increase in 2021. This significant change primarily stems from India’s reduced student applications to Canada.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, exclusively written and published by IntraSource. The published information is sourced from various trusted platforms, such as news agencies and online media, mainly the Government of Canada and Canadian online media/websites, and should not be considered as legal or professional advice. IRCC’s requirements may change, so consult a lawyer/s and receive professional advice before making decisions or applications.

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