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Nova Scotia Adjusts to Federal Cap on International Student Admissions

by Immigration Team
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2023 international students in Canada

In a significant development on March 28, 2024, Nova Scotia has responded to the federal government’s recent adjustments to the international study permit program by setting allocations for the number of international students each post-secondary institution in the province can admit.

Following a directive from the federal government, which seeks to moderate the influx of international students into Canada, Nova Scotia was given a cap of 12,900 international student applications for the current year—a reduction of approximately 7,000 from the previous year. This cap is to be distributed across the province’s educational institutions, which include 10 universities, the Nova Scotia Community College, private career colleges, and language schools.

Here’s how the allocations break down:

  • Universities and Community College: A total of 11,565 spaces are allocated to the province’s universities and the Nova Scotia Community College.
  • Private Career Colleges: These institutions have been allocated 710 spaces for international students.
  • Language Schools: A total of 526 spaces have been designated for the nine language schools in Nova Scotia.

Additionally, the province is reserving 99 spots to provide flexibility for unforeseen needs and new program offerings.

Brian Wong, the Minister of Advanced Education, emphasized the value of international students to Nova Scotia’s growth and economy. He highlighted the province’s strategic approach to distributing the federal cap, considering factors like enrollment in high-demand programs and community growth management. Wong also mentioned ongoing efforts to negotiate for a larger allocation from the federal government.

With this new system, educational institutions in Nova Scotia can now issue attestation letters for first-year international students, confirming their inclusion within the cap. These letters are essential for students when applying for their study permits.

In alignment with agreements made last month, universities in Nova Scotia are expected to develop plans focusing on the sustainable recruitment, housing, and integration of international students into the local labor market.

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia’s allocation decision follows the IRCC’s announcement on January 22, 2024, aiming to stabilize and reduce the number of new international student permits.
  • Current international students and those pursuing advanced degrees in Nova Scotia are exempt from needing a provincial attestation letter.
  • As of October 2023, international students constituted about 32% and 11% of total enrollments at Nova Scotia universities and the Community College, respectively.

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