Changes for international students will impact N.S. universities: Advocate

By CityNews Halifax Staff

An advocate for universities in Atlantic Canada is speaking out after the federal government imposed rules earlier this year for international students that will see around 7,000 study permits cut from Nova Scotia schools.

The executive director of the Association of Atlantic Universities said the federal government’s decision to lower the number of undergraduate study permits by 35 per cent will come at a cost to universities in the province.

Peter Halpin said the move comes in part from concern over international student demands on local housing.

But Halpin also said international student revenue makes up a significant portion of Nova Scotia’s economy.

“The universities in Nova Scotia are the second largest export revenue-generating sector,” he told CityNews Halifax. “So those international students have a big effect not just on the institutions that they choose to study at but in the communities where those institutions are located and that’s right across the province.”

Halpin says as the second largest export sector in Nova Scotia, which represents about 1.5 billion dollars annually for the province.

Halpin says the full impact of Ottawa’s changes to international student permits will become more clear once the Association of Atlantic Universities holds its preliminary enrollment survey in October.

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