Ian speaks with Alex Usher about the current state of post-secondary education in Canada, with a focus on international students and the recent announcement of a cap on international student permits. They cover the number of international students in Canada, the financial challenges faced by post-secondary institutions, the power of the Minister of Immigration, private institutions and diploma mills, the student program as a workforce, changes in the post-graduate work program, the two-year cap on international student permits, the impact on the housing market, funding shortfalls in post-secondary education, and the provincial response and future actions.


  • The number of international students in Canada has been steadily increasing, with approximately half a million enrolled in public post-secondary institutions.
  • Post-secondary institutions have relied on international student fees as a source of unregulated income to compensate for the lack of government funding.
  • The Minister of Immigration has significant power in the international student permit system, which has become a key source of revenue for post-secondary institutions.
  • There are concerns about private institutions operating as diploma mills and the lack of quality control in private vocational programs.
  • The student program has been used as a pathway to residency and citizenship, but there are debates about its impact on the workforce and the need for better alignment with labor market needs.
  • The recent announcement of a two-year cap on international student permits aims to address the strain on housing markets and the need to reassess the distribution of permits among institutions.
  • The funding shortfalls in post-secondary education have contributed to the reliance on international student fees, and provinces need to address these issues to ensure sustainable funding for institutions.


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