April 27, 2006
For immediate release
International Students Now Permitted to Work Off-Campus
Education Minister Mildred Dover advised that a new agreement signed today between Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the government of Prince Edward Island and post-secondary institutions, will allow eligible foreign students at UPEI, Holland College and Société Éducative to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during study breaks, as well as two years following graduation. The agreement is effective immediately and students can apply for a permit right away.
Minister Dover advised that the agreement will make it easier for students to gain valuable work experience and to earn extra income while studying. “It will help students who have come a long way from home to pay for their education and to engage further in our communities,” she said. “It will be more attractive for international students to study in Canada. By enabling students to work in Canada for up to two years after graduation, we can increase our access to a pool of highly skilled young workers who have been educated in Canada.”
Brian McMillan, Holland College president advised that colleges have long advocated for these measures to support international students. “The opportunity for our international students to work off-campus while they complete their education and training enriches their post-secondary learning experience, while at the same time providing a positive learning experience for those Islanders and Canadians who work with them,” said Dr. McMillan.
Approximately 150 international students from 48 different countries currently at UPEI would be eligible to apply for this opportunity. “UPEI welcomes this new agreement to allow our international students to participate in the community and economy of PEI,” says UPEI President Wade MacLauchlan. “Working off-campus will allow these students to gain a deeper understanding of PEI society and help them cover the costs of their education at the same time. We encourage employers to consider the significant contributions that students from other countries can make to our workforce.”
Declining population figures are affecting enrolment at universities and colleges in the region. Attracting more international students is a priority to help ensure future sustainability.