Canadian Schools Ease Standards To Draw More Foreign Students

Canadian school boards and universities are relaxing admission criteria for international students, a measure aimed at bringing in much-needed new revenue.

The Toronto District School Board says it is negotiating a partnership with the University of Toronto that would include waiving the required English proficiency exam for foreign students who have completed two years of high school at the Toronto board.

Limestone District School Board in Kingston, Ont., has partnered with Queens University, which pays a portion of the board’s recruiting costs, and the first year of the partnered program begins this fall. Students studying at one of the board’s schools receive conditional acceptance into Queens’ faculty of arts and science at the beginning of Grade 12. As part of the partnership, Queens reduced its required score for language proficiency.

Over the past decade, the number of foreign students in Canadian secondary schools has increased by 30 per cent as boards seek revenue to make up for budget shortfalls caused by declines in enrolment.

Internationally, Canada’s main rivals in the battle for foreign students’ are the United States, the U.K. and Australia.

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