International students are enriching and part of the social, cultural and economic fabric of the country, the Canadian government emphasises. But there are currently too many of them, it believes.

Recruitment of foreign students has become so profitable that it’s being abused, says Marc Miller, Canadian minister of Immigration and Refugees. “Enough is enough.”

Some education institutions are mainly looking to make a profit off the foreign students and don’t provide good support, it says in a press release. The government wants to protect these students from such ‘bad actors’.

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Maximum

In practice, this protection means that not all of them will be allowed to enter the country on a student visa anymore. This year, the number of international students will be decreased by 35 percent, to around 360 thousand.

The government is imposing a maximum number per province, which means the decrease will be “much more significant” in some provinces. The intake limitation will be in place for at least two years.

Incidentally, the measure will not apply to Master’s students and PhD candidates. Current students will not struggle to have their visas renewed either, the government promises.

The association of Canadian universities has responded with concern, but is happy that Master’s and PhD education will not be affected.

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Denmark

In the Netherlands there are also parties advocating a decrease of the number of foreign students, for example by forcing programmes to teach in Dutch. Supporters of internationalisation draw attention to Denmark, which has changed its mind and is once again welcoming foreign students.