Without work permit eligibility, private colleges struggle to retain international students

Globe and Mail reporter Marie Woolf connected with the leaders of several private career colleges about their struggles to retain international students and how this could be worsened by the federal policy shifts. Flair College of Management and Technology executive director Sandip Dhakecha said that most of the college’s accepted international students request a refund of their fees immediately upon arrival in Canada, with the intent of transferring to a public college and attaining a postgraduate work permit. Contacts at A1-Global College and the Academy of Learning Career College echoed Dhakecha’s comments. “To be honest with you, they are just using us to get here,” said Dhakecha, who added that without access to the work permit option “we have no tool to retain them.” Woolf contrasts the “desolate” campuses of these colleges with the “bustling” campus of Stanford International College of Business and Technology, which has a public-private partnership with Canadore College.

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