07 September 2009

Canada to court Indian students for Canadian visa

A Canada-India relations expert has said Canada should be launching a vigourous education campaign to woo Indian students to study in Canada.

Canada visa

Canada should do more to court Indian students to study in the country on Canadian visas, says expert.

Ryan M. Touhey, a professor who has authored a study titled "A new direction for the Canada-India relationship", says India is a huge education market and Canada should be focused on wooing Indian students to study in Canada on a Canadian visa.

Currently, Canada receives about 4,000 Indian students each year, compared to 80,000 studying in the US, 40,000 in Australia, and 25,000 in Britain.

"Canada has done a poor job of attracting Indian students. Even New Zealand attracts about 6,000 students -  more than Canada," Mr Touhey said.

The international education sector is worth billions annually, and as India is second only to China in sending students abroad it would be a huge market for Canada, Mr Touhey said.

Mr Touhey said Canada showed poor higher education promotion efforts in India compared to the US, Britain and Australia and that Canada should learn from the Australian Government who have used their "Brand Australia" education marketing campaign since 1992 to increase Indian students from just 300 in 1994-95 to 40,000 in 2008.

"By contrast, one of the frequent criticisms of Canada in India is that it is unclear what Canada offers," he said in his paper.

Mr Touhey recommended that Canada should develop its own scholarship and exchange programmes targeted at Indian students and forge research links with Indian research institutions.
The added bonus is that  Indian students will solidify  trade, political and cultural ties between the two countries, he said.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with Canadian visa and immigration applications.

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