Friday, July 8, 2011

Canada Student Partners Program SPP Continues to Attract Indian Students

Canadian High Commission to the United Kingdom.Image via Wikipedia
(OPENPRESS) July 8, 2011 -- Until April 2009, there was a big concern among Canadian colleges and universities of not getting students from India as most of the visas were being rejected by the Canadian High Commission, New Delhi. The Student Partners Program (SPP) commonly termed as Students Partnership Program by the students and study abroad consultants in India was implemented in partnership between the Canadian High Commission and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and is attracting a good number of students from all over India and is fast emerging as a preferred destination for higher education for overseas students not only from India but from the entire globe.

The number of Indian students enrolled in Canadian universities and educational institutions has steadily grown from 3,000 in 2008 to 18,500 in 2010, according to the Canadian High Commissioner, Stewart G Beck. Primarily, Indian students used to choose places like Vancouver in Canada because of its favourable nature, mild climate and the Indian community stronghold. But, now Indian students are breaking grounds and heading to colleges in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and other cold provinces. Also, Canada’s progressive immigration policies and employment opportunities is turning it into a favourable destination choice for Indian students. Canadian universities offer diverse programmes that range from Commerce to Astronomy, Biology to Fine Art, Media Studies to Theology. Currently, universities and educational institutions in Canada offer more than a 1000 undergraduate and graduate programmes.

The students are cautioned to submit applications on time by 01 August for September intake and by 01 December for January intake while applying under SPP (Student Partners Program). It needs to be noted that SPP students apply to the participating college rather than the program.

To elaborate, SPP was started as a pilot project with plans to test a model for expediting the student visa process and delivering higher approval rates while maintaining program integrity. All Study Permit application checklists have been revised and improved as a result of the SPP framework to help students make simpler applications and Canadian High Commission informed decisions.

Tejal Laul, Director of Kampus Landing a leading overseas education consultant from Gujarat says, “There is a northward trend on the number of Indian students showing interest in studying in Canada. SPP requires students to have IELTS scores only. TOEFL is not valid for filing student visa under SPP though the students are eligible to file under general category. Strangely, even the Canadian colleges and universities prefer IELTS and students with TOEFL score find very few choices. We have experienced almost 100% success rate with IELTS but somehow students filing under general category with TOEFL scores have been scrutinized closely by Canadian High Commission and even the brightest of the students have faced rejection. You are strongly advised to file under Student Partners Program and avoid filing with TOEFL scores under general category.”

Further, Tejal Laul says, “The quality of education is very good in all community colleges and one should not rush just to Toronto or Vancouver, there’s a lot of advantages studying at provinces in Quebec and Manitoba. The students’ Canada PR application is fast tracked if filed under Provincial Nominee Program. Colleges offer unique “co-operative education programmes” that allow students to work while studying. Apart from regular courses such as a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (Accounting/ Financial services) and Bachelor’s in Sciences, a few even offer new-age courses — Animal Health Technology, Geology, Financial Services Management, Office Administration Certificates, Basic Musicianship, Intercultural and International Studies, Professional Writing, Stagecraft, Performing and Fine Arts, Associate of Arts degree — to name a few. Students studying under government-funded institutions can get up to a three-year work permit, leading to permanent residency. Finance, banking and investment are the emerging fields in Canada and present a promising future in the country. Jobs in Computer Science offer good pay and there is ample job opportunity for talented and skilled professionals. Aerospace, Urban Transport, Microelectronics, Advanced Software, Hydroelectric and Nuclear Power, Lasers and Opto-electronics, Biotechnology, Food and Beverage Processing, Geomatics, Ocean and Environmental Industries are other lucrative courses on offer. Typically, most universities offer four-year undergraduate programmes. The degree awarded is general or specialised. An Honours (bacca-laureate) programme may be harder as more courses have to be completed in the same period of time, compared to a regular Bachelor’s programme in the same discipline. Community colleges and technical institutes in Canada offer programmes that enable students to get a job by meeting the needs of employers or industry.”

Regarding mature students applying under SPP, Tejal Laul says, “Canada welcomes mature students’ applications, one can file at the age of 35 but should have a genuine reason to study at this age in Canada. If the mature student is not able to provide ample of evidence, the application is more likely to be rejected. We have had several applications between 30 and 35 which have successfully received Canada student visas under SPP and are presently studying in Canada.”

On the question on ethics of study abroad consultants in India, Tejal Laul says, “The study abroad consulting industry in India is not regulated like China and UAE where study abroad consultant needs a license by the Ministry of Education to operate. The Indian Government needs to regulate the study abroad consulting industry and save hundreds from being duped by unscrupulous agents.”

She adds, “After successfully experimenting SPP in India, Canadian government has initiated the Student Partners program SPP in China. There are already 50,000 students from China studying in Canada and the number is expected to grow tremendously.”
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