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Source: (15) New Brunswick’s postsecondary call for more action on international students | LinkedIn

Post-secondary institutions in New Brunswick are expressing concern over new federal limits on international student enrollment despite recent adjustments by the immigration department to ease application requirements. While schools like St. Thomas University have seen an increase in attestation letters available to support student permit applications, the adjustments still fall short of desired enrollment levels.

Ryan Sullivan, St. Thomas University’s associate vice president of enrollment management, acknowledges the positive impact of the increased attestation letters. However, he maintains that these measures do not meet the university’s full enrollment aspirations. Last year, St. Thomas University accepted 330 out of 550 international applications and aimed to expand admissions further this year. Unfortunately, the new federal caps on undergraduate study permits have hindered these plans.

In January, Immigration Minister Marc Miller announced a cap on international student permits for 2024, aiming to stabilize Canada’s growth and address concerns about the integrity of the international student system. This cap, set at 236,000 study permits, reflects a 42% reduction from 2023 approvals. The calculation considers expiring permits, annual extensions, and specific student groups, resulting in revised allocations for provinces like New Brunswick.

New Brunswick’s allocation for study permit approvals in 2024 is projected to be 5,567, a 10% reduction from 2023. However, the province receives a top-up allocation to address lower approval rates, bringing the total revised allocation to 14,651.

Miller explained that provinces with approval rates below 60% received additional allocations. New Brunswick is among four provinces, including Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, facing a 10% decline in study permit approvals compared to the previous year.

Despite the federal government’s efforts to manage international student numbers, post-secondary institutions in New Brunswick remain concerned about meeting enrollment targets and maintaining their global competitiveness in attracting students.