Alberta moves to attract foreign students spurned by US

Alberta moves to attract foreign students spurned by US

Alberta province in Canada has revealed plans to attract foreign students from US universities who feel unwelcome by restrictions imposed on them in the country.

The Canadian province of Alberta is advancing and accelerating the implementation of some of its key immigration programmes to attract foreign students who may feel unwelcome by restrictions recently imposed in the US.

A recent document published by the Government of Alberta, titled Alberta’s Recovery Plan, outlines several targeted investments and policy reforms.

The intention behind these measures is to provide a strong plan to alleviate the fallout from the global Coronavirus pandemic, which involves creating more jobs and boosting industry in Alberta, both in the short and long term, including addressing its attractiveness to international students.

Alberta plan to target top foreign students who feel ‘not welcome’ in the US

This move comes as part of the Alberta Advantage Immigration Strategy announced earlier this year, which will include both the Foreign Graduate Startup Visa Program and the International Student Entrepreneurship Program, intended ‘to support growth in the tech and innovation sectors’.

The plan places a strong focus on the need to develop Alberta’s technology sector, which the report believes is currently being limited by ‘a lack of people with relevant skills.’

The report states, ‘at the same time, the United States has further closed its borders to some of the world’s most talented information technology workers and start-up entrepreneurs.’

As a result, the Minister of Labour and Immigration will now accelerate the implementation of these two new Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program streams.

Developing Alberta’s tech sector a key part of Canada’s economic recovery strategy

The report was published just one week after the US announced massive restrictions to its student visa regime, and banned nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 visa students (who were attending US higher education institutions and undertaking their courses fully online) from remaining in the country.

Alberta’s budget statement seized the opportunity created by this announcement, which would have been highly damning to countless US international students, to respond with the declaration that:

“The launch of these programs will be matched by an aggressive promotional campaign focused on top foreign graduates of US universities who are not welcome in the United States, inviting them to join Alberta’s thriving start-up ecosystem, to bring their companies and their ideas to our province, and to create jobs here.”

The report further outlines the way in which developing Alberta’s technology sector forms a key part of the country’s economic recovery strategy.

The immigration programmes will be launched alongside plans to provide capital investments for tech startups, further support to develop artificial intelligence and enhanced 5G initiatives.

Pic: Silvestri Matteo

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at josephine@globaleducationtimes.org

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