There are many more Canadian universities that have been added to the list of approved Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) that are allowed to take in overseas students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the students who are enrolled in this new list of approved DLIs will be exempted from the travel restrictions that were first imposed during the pandemic. On their arrival, they will be permitted to enter by a border official. The COVID-19 restrictions in Canada had initially included new students from abroad.
Earlier, it was only those international students who had a study permit or approval granted on or before March 18 2020 who were permitted to enter Canada. However, in recent times, these restrictions have started to be lowered so that more international students wishing to pursue higher education in Canada can do so.
A mandatory condition upon arrival in Canada is that all international students will be required to quarantine themselves for 14 days, and failure to do so will result in fines being imposed. Another requirement is that all those travelling to Canada, particularly by air will have to install the ArriveCAN app. This app will record your contact and travel information along with your quarantine plan and daily Covid-19 system self-assessment.
A study done by CourseCompare, a platform connecting students to training programmes and courses, found that due to the pandemic, many Canadian universities have witnessed a steep drop in enrollment of overseas students. A few colleges such as UBC Okanagan saw a 9% increase in international students enrolling in undergraduate programmes, even despite the restrictions that were enforced during the pandemic.
It is possible that the reason for this could be that many Canadian universities and colleges are considering extending online teaching until the next semester. International students pay higher fees than domestic students and will be hesitant to enrol and study online. They would most likely be willing to enrol only when students are allowed to return to campus.
Another reason is that a large number of international students are enrolled in practical hand-on programmes such as nursing, acting and programmes that require lab time, such as electrical engineering and film production. As they prefer that their courses are delivered majorly on campus, they were impacted in a big way by the pandemic.
In the case of domestic students, there has in fact been a rise in enrollment in universities and colleges in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, B.C. and Ontario.