Canada wooing more Indian students
Of late, lot many students in this part of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Indiacould not make it to the country of their choice due to ‘fraudulent documentation’ by some unscrupulous student visa consultants. This has made high commissions and embassies in Indiaextra vigilant and strict in visa issuance.
As a positive development, the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi is shortly coming up with a pilot project, a new documentation process, which would enable a student procure a visa within just seven to ten days.
“The idea is to check fraudulent visa documentation and give a boost to the Canadian economy in these times of recession,” according to India’s well-known Canada student visa expert, Jagdeep Singh of International Educational & Career (IEC) Consultants.
Excerpts from an interview with R.M.S. Atwal:
After clearing the IELTS, most of the students in Indiaare just a confused lot. Do you have any good news for them in these times of economic slowdown?
Yes, of course. The Canadian High Commission is coming up with a lot of student visas this year. Since the rejection rate was quite high in the previous years, thanks to many cases of ‘fraudulent documentation’ especially in the Punjab area, the mission is soon coming up with a pilot project under which it has come up with a rather very simplified visa process. Always remember, the mission never says no to genuine students. The objective of this project is to ascertain a student’s correct financial status. Very few institutes have been chosen for the pilot project including the Georgian College has the highest graduate employment in Ontario among all colleges rate at 94 per cent. Moreover, the mission believes that the banks in India have a better standing to ascertain financial capability of the student and the SPP (Special Pilot Project) would have major stress on it.
So, we can say, our students are suffering thanks to many fake consultants in Punjab and elsewhere?
Yes. There is a lack of genuine consultants in Punjab who can provide you the right kind of information. What they provide you is a lot of fake land records, fake education loan certificates and sometimes fake IELTS certificates, too. Consequently, if say five students are refused visa, the next five also come under the scanner of ‘fraudulent documentation’ and suffer. CHC also gets a lot of concern from Canadian education institutes that they are not getting a good number of international students. Compared to other countries like the UK, the US and Australia, the number of students from India is very less.
Then what’s the solution, as compared to Australia, Canada does not get as much exposure?
Yes, I do agree because Canada does have a Canada education in India like the CEC (Canadian Education Centre) but it has not promoted itself well in India, as the IDP did for Australia education. So, if a student wants to get some genuine information about Canadian education institutions they can visit the CEC offices, or Canadian application centres also, but I think they should do some studies through websites before approaching right consultants like us. The problem is, the students go through small-time agents who tend to misguide them. That’s why their visas are rejected.
As compared to Australia and the USA, where would you rate Canadian universities?
Canadian universities are ranked very high in the world and its education system is also very good. The problem is how to get there. The reason why more students prefer the US universities is because America has a very flexible visa system. Especially, they have entry level exams like the GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS. The American Embassy tends to give very relaxed visas to good students. On the other hand, the Canadian system is not that relaxed but the quality of education system in that country is very good; one of the topmost in the world.
Could you throw some light on the requirement of the IELTS or the TOEFL for Canadian universities?
Canadian universities and colleges do accept the IELTS now since TOEFL is now outdated. CHC recommends 6 plus IELTS score (no less than 5.0 bands) for a student visa. There are lots of agents who say CHC gives visa without an IELTS score but that is very rare, where a student has studied in an English medium school throughout.
How has the world recession affected Canadian education?
In fact, this recession has given a good boost to the Canadian education market in India. The reason CHC is launching a pilot project because there has been a push from the Canadian government sector too that they need to have investments from across the world. A lot of money goes to Canada though the education programs. A lot many students from Punjab want to go to Canada. Their parents have the money and they want to spend it on their wards’ overseas education. Since lot of Canadian universities is looking for money from outside, this will definitely boost Canadian education.
We have learnt, just because of recession most of the students world over have put their study abroad plans on hold until the job situation stabilises?
You are right. But when you compare the job situation in India with that of Canada or any other country, students won’t finish their 10+2 in India and then go abroad to complete their education. They have to take a decision now… they will see the recession dying down in the next couple of years. Students should go to a country which can give them good opportunities…. The international education gives a lot of exposure to students which they anyhow won’t get in India. Over there they get a chance to change their whole personality, the way they think, etc. Therefore, they become better citizens wherever they go. They have a better chance of employment all over the world.
Did the visa strictness in neighbouring America affect Canada too?
As far visas are concerned, both the countries have been very different right from the very beginning. About 80,000 students go to the US every year as compared to 3000-5000 to Canada. Whereas the Americans are tightening student visa rules, the Canadians are relaxing… I don’t think strictness in one country is going to affect the situation in the other country.
Would you like to give any message to Indian students, especially in this part of the country, where they are bit scary of studying abroad?
The students need to be very confident and correct – they need to approach a right agent—need to find a right course for themselves and show just genuine documents to get visa. If any agent is misguiding them with fraudulent documentation, the student is definitely going to land in trouble. Once a visa is refused on such grounds, it’s very difficult to get it again. CHC’s rejection-stamp won’t allow such a student to apply before two years. So, my message is, a prospective student visa immigrant should do his/her research well and make a right choice because 80-90 per cent cases are rejected due to fraudulent documentation.
(R.M.S. Atwal is a Freelance Journalist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)