More Filipinos discovering Canadian education–envoy
The number of Filipinos going to Canada to study has increased at “quite an impressive” rate, according to the Canadian ambassador to the Philippines.
“We’ve had a doubling of the number of Filipino students in the past two years,” said Ambassador Neil Reeder, who was at Tenement Elementary School in Taguig City yesterday for the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela program which gathers community members to repair and clean up schools.
Reeder said Canada issues nearly 3,000 student visas a year. “So that’s quite impressive.”
According to the ambassador, while there was obviously a big flow of Filipino guest workers, caregivers and temporary labor to Canada, he could see that the “student flow was picking up as well.”
He said Canada was “now the second most popular destination for (International School of Manila students) after the United States.”
“I can kind of feel a growing interest in Canada as a study destination because it (offers) good quality (education), it’s safe and it’s multicultural,” he said.
Canada’s University of British Columbia, he said, had “thousands and thousands” of undergraduates from the Asia Pacific so Asians who study there “feel at home.”
He said studying in Canada was “cost effective.” There were no private universities there and tuition was “kept down.”
“So for foreign students, it can be as little as half the cost of going to study with some of the other competitors,” he said.
The Canadian government also offers students the opportunity to study and work at the same time, unlike other countries which require students to go back to their home countries between courses or after they obtain their degrees.
“We give work visas to students now. So in between classes you can study. In the summer you can study, you can study for up to three years. We want students to stay. So you can get a work visa and actually work up to three years and that time can count… toward residency if you decide to become a citizen,” he said.
He said the Canadian Embassy conducted two student fairs in the last six months, with the one in Makati attended by around 3,000 students and parents.
He said the Commission on Higher Education signed an agreement with Canada’s Bureau of International Education in a bid to “facilitate student exchanges in both directions, professor exchanges, academic linkages.”