Jean-François Venne details in University Affairs efforts by the Quebec government to attract and retain international students and talent. Quebec has lower retention of international students who remain after their studies than other provinces. A recent study by the Institut du Quebec found this was in part due to French-language requirements (for those from non-Francophone countries) and the ability to find employment straight from their degree. They recommend focusing policy efforts in these areas, such as the current program offering free and accessible French lessons to newcomers.
On top of programs designed to retain students, Quebec universities want to diversify the countries from which they attract students. From the article:
““From our point of view, the contribution made by foreign students is primarily academic. It’s a matter of providing Quebec students with an international campus. You know, only seven percent of Université de Montréal students from Quebec will go on to study abroad. For the remainder, overseas contacts are made and international networks are formed here in Quebec.”
“And that’s not to mention the support we get from these students after they graduate,” adds Jocelyne Younan, associate registrar, undergraduate recruitment and communications, at McGill University. “Some stay in Quebec, but most forge careers in other countries. They become ambassadors, helping McGill recruit new foreign students or develop interesting projects.”
This aligns with the recommendations of the Naylor Report , which highlights how Canada as a whole tends to lag behind other countries in the number of international students we bring in.
Read the full piece in University Affairs here.