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More Indian Students Go to Canadian Colleges

NEW DELHI — Canada, which has long promoted its eagerness to attract foreigners, is experiencing a surge in the number of Indian students heading there for higher education.

Besides the country’s positive attitude toward outsiders, the chief attractions for Indian students are the lower costs for both tuition and living expenses, in addition to its lenient visa requirements, according to students and consultants who advise them about overseas study options.

The number of Canadian student visas issued in India jumped to more than 12,000 in 2010, from 3,152 in 2008.

While applications have increased at all levels, growth has been greatest at community colleges, which typically offer career-focused certificate and diploma programs, according to Simon Cridland, a spokesman at the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi.

“They offer very practical training that is very job-market focused,” he said, adding that courses range from highly technical subjects like aircraft maintenance and computer animation to sports management and hospitality.

Shreya Dasgupta, a recent high school graduate from New Delhi, plans to start studying economics and business at Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby campus this fall. Ms. Dasgupta, 18, said that while she did not have a strong preference for any one country, she found Canada’s relatively liberal visa rules attractive.

“I think it’s easier than the United States,” she said. “Plus, you do have job opportunities later on. In the U.S., it’s very expensive and it’s not sure that you’ll get a job.”

Kartik Rao, who has been admitted to an M.B.A. program at Concordia University in Montreal, also said that Canada is more welcoming. “Irrespective of my getting a job, I have a three-year work visa which will allow me to work, which will in turn allow me to pay back my loan,” he said.

Mr. Rao, 25, estimates that his business degree in Canada will cost 35 percent to 40 percent less than what it would cost in the United States or in Britain. Also driving his optimism is the belief that employment prospects in Canada are better.

“The financial downturn has forced people to look for new avenues,” he said. “Canada was not as badly affected, which really tilted people’s views about Canada.”

Beside all the other reasons mentioned like 3 year work visa after studies,less tuition fees etc other contributing factors would be strict visa norms of UK and the not so good hospitality in Australia during recent times.Australia earlier used to be another popular destination.


Graduate Student
This article strikes the cord at the US problem... I have countless friends who left their H1 sponsored jobs and subsequently moved up North. Obviously, Canada is doing something right.
The IT people from India have to wait 12-13 years to get the USA Green Cards even though they are working on H1-B. They get Canadian PR in 1 months without ever being in Canada for a single day. So they move to Canada, get the Canadian passport in 3 years, then come back to USA on TN-1 visa. This has become a very common practice among the IT people.


Quant Headhunter
Canada has spent decades getting this right and has been a major importer of smart people especially ethnic Chinese for more than a generation.
The difference between Canada and the USA (and most other countries) is that Canadian immigration policy is based upon what looks like being good for Canada. American policy is based upon the result of lobbying by various companies and the more powerful ethnic groups with "input" from the unions and various flavours of racist on both the left and right.

Once you have imported a smart person, you want him to both stay and start to identify with the new country, same as when you hire a new guy. Screwing him around for years, harassing his family etc is just bad management.