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Pinoy Abroad

Canada wants to bring in more Pinoy students

January 15, 2013 8:41pm

The Canadian Embassy will have its first Study in Canada Fair in the country later this month with a hope of increasing the number of Filipino students who will pursue academic opportunities there.

At the launching of the event in Makati City Tuesday, Canadian Ambassador Christopher Thornley said they are hoping to double the just over a thousand Filipino students in Canada.

Thornley said there are 240,000 foreign students in Canada, and that “Filipinos are a very small number of that.”

“So we don’t have a target number yet and I think we need a few years of doing this to establish some patterns to decide what would be realistic targets but we’re starting from a very low base, quite frankly,” he said.

According to data from the Canadian Embassy, of the 239,121 international students in Canada as of December 1, 2011, only 1,196 were from the Philippines, an increase from 953 in 2010. In 2002, only 324 Filipinos students were registered there.

Filipino students who entered Canada in 2011 numbered at 637, according to data from the Canadian government, an increase of 178 from 2010’s 459. Only 142 students were registered in 2002.

“The number’s quite low, though. I mean, that’s why one of the reasons why we’re doing this (study fair), we’d like to see it become much higher,” Thornley said.

“So I don’t think it’s unrealistic to look at at least doubling our numbers within the short term,” he added.

Representatives from around 17 Canadian schools will be at the study fairs—at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati on the 25th and at the Marriott Hotel in Cebu City the next day—to talk about opportunities to study in Canada at the K-12, college, and university levels.

Thornley said his country has institutions that can provide good education.

“You don’t have bad schools in Canada,” he said. “You’ll find some that are a little better than others, or some that are well-known than others, but  they’re all consistently very good.”

International students have been beneficial to Canada. In 2011, for instance, more than 239,000 students contributed around $8B in revenue to the country and contributed to the employment of 86,750 jobs, according to the embassy.

Thornley assured Filipinos that they will be able to adapt to Canada should they decide to study there, citing its hospitable and safe environments.

The Philippines is the top source country of immigrants to Canada, which is  home to around 667,674 Filipinos, based on the 2010 Stock Estimate of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas. — Gian C. Geronimo/KBK, GMA News

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