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Conestoga College releases new report on school’s economic impact

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A new report is highlighting the social and economic impact Conestoga College has on the surrounding community.

The report, commissioned by the college, states Conestoga College adds more than $6.2 billion dollars to the province’s economy annually.

It goes on to note the school’s employment rate for domestic graduates sits at just under 86 per cent, while the rate for international students is just under 85 per cent.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

According to the report, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issued 51,042 study permits to Conestoga College students since 2018. That represents almost eight per cent of all study permits issued to Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

In recent years, the college has faced criticism regarding the number of international students admitted to the school who struggle to find stable housing and suitable employment opportunities while completing their studies.

Last month, the federal government announced a plan to decrease the number of new international student permits in 2024. The cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 study permits, a decrease of 35 per cent from 2023.

During a virtual livestream regarding the newly released report, Conestoga College president John Tibbits says the federal government moved too quickly by introducing the student permit limit.

“I understand why the federal government did what it did because there are problems. But I’m not sure – it was done in haste. There are a lot of students now in Limbo. We have a system that is shut down right now. Students don’t know where they stand. There needs to be a more sophisticated way to do this. We need better cooperation between the feds and the province. This is important. We’re not going to function here. If you want to deal with the skilled shortage labour we’re going to have to be more sophisticated in how we do this.”

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