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Northern Ont. colleges on impact of international student cap

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Here is a look at how some northern Ontario colleges are being affected by the new Canadian immigration policy that has reduced the number of new international students.

As of February 2024, Cambrian College in Sudbury said international students made up half of its enrolment numbers.

When immigration minister Marc Miller announced changes to the allocation of international study permits to address a lack of housing, Cambrian's president said there were concerns that enrolment numbers would be drastically reduced.

"We have received our allocation and we do think we've been treated fairly from the perspective of the number of students we'll be able to bring to Sudbury to study at Cambrian College," Kristine Morrissey, president of Cambrian College.

"While I won't disclose the number, over the next two or three years, we should be able to level off and maintain our current levels of international enrolment in Sudbury."

But, Cambrian's private partnership with Brampton-based Hanson College is set to end, a loss in revenue that had been allocated to modernizing infrastructure at its Sudbury campus.

"Over the next 18-month period, the students we do have studying there will be finishing their education, but no new students, unfortunately, will be registered in that program and that represents $25 million a year to Cambrian's budget," Morrissey said.

College Boreal, as well, said it has seen a steady growth of international students in recent years.

Between 2023 to 2024, it saw 700 international students across its 36 sites in Ontario.

Boreal officials said because the college is still considered relatively small, it doesn't see the policy changes making much of an impact.

"We don’t have a private partnership, so all our programs are offered within our campuses so the impact might be lesser for us than other institutions, but it forces us to look at how we recruit, how we welcome students," said Melanie Doyon, the international director for College Boreal.

Cambrian College said it plans to look for other sources of funding opportunities, such as the provincial government, when it comes to improving infrastructure on campus.

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