The number of Indian students going to Canada for higher education has almost doubled, thanks to a pilot project that aims at increasing the approval rate of visa applications, Tim Uppal, member of Canadian Parliament, said.
"The acceptance rate for Indian students coming to study at a group of Canadian colleges has doubled, thanks to a new program between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC)," Uppal said in a statement on behalf of Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney.
In April last year, a joint pilot project called the Student Partners Program was launched between Canada's visa offices in India and 20 member colleges of the ACCC. The goal of the program was to increase the approval rate for study permit applications at participating Canadian colleges.
"The Student Partners Program has resulted in an increase in the number of Indian students on our college campuses. International students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study," Uppal said.
During the first nine months of the launch of the program, CIC's visa offices in India received over 4,000 applications.
"In 2008, India with 3,244 students, ranked seventh among countries from where students come to Canada for higher studies. A 2009 study commissioned by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada found that international students contributed more than 6.5 billion dollars to the Canadian economy in 2008," he added.