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Ontario international student permits to go to in-demand areas

Ontario will give the vast majority of its allocated international student study permits to post-secondary institutions that offer in-demand programs such as in the skilled trades, child care and health care.

Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop says the province is prioritizing programs to support in-demand jobs upon graduation.

The federal government announced earlier this year it would slash the international student permits it would hand out, with Ontario seeing its allotment cut in half.

Post-secondary institutions, especially colleges, in the province turned increasingly to international students after Premier Doug Ford’s government in 2019 cut tuition by 10 per cent and froze it.

Last month, Dunlop gave a $1.3 billion funding lifeline to post-secondary institutions, but the colleges and universities said they needed double that amount.

Ontario’s budget this week indicated that the lost international student revenue in the college sector, whose finances show up on the province’s books, will total about $3 billion over two years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2024.

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