Languages Canada stresses need for government support
Languages Canada has stressed the need for support from the Canadian government in order to prevent a further decline in language student numbers.
A recent report by Languages Canada found that the number of language students studying in the country has significantly declined.
These findings came as part of the Annual Report on Language Education in Canada, undertaken by Languages Canada and BONARD.
The survey was completed by 239 representatives of English and French language programmes across the country.
It is the hope of these organisations that their reports will enable Canada’s language education sector to elevate and undergo further professionalisation.
The report demonstrated that the language training sector continues to make a key contribution to Canada’s education sector.
The research stated that 155,383 students were enrolled in Canadian language programs and, of this number, 145,684 were international students.
The report also found that as much as 86% of 2019’s international language students were studying Languages Canada member programs.
2019 saw a 3.9% decline in Canada languages students
Compared to 2018, there were 3.9% fewer language students, with students spending (on average) 10 weeks on their courses.
It was calculated that this means that a minimum of 1,522,785 weeks were spent on language study by students enrolled in Canadian HEIs – a drop of 8% in student week volume, compared to 2018.
This trend in student intake decline was reported across both the private and public sector.
For public-sector organisations, they experienced a 10% decline in the number of learners.
Ontario and British Columbia have consolidated their position as Canada’s most popular study provinces, accounting for a staggering 78% of all 2019’s language students.
However, both regions also reported a decline in student numbers (of 1% and 7% respectively).
Mexico only country to increase on 2018 student numbers
Brazil was the top source market for Canada’s international language students in 2019 (with 24,890 language students), followed by Japan (20,590 students), China (17,166) and Mexico (17,065), as the most significant source markets.
Out of all of these countries, only Mexican international student numbers posted growth (a 17% increase on 2018’s number).
The report details the performance of Canada’s HEIs in the year prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Languages Canada has recommended a number of responsive measures of support from the government, in order to help these institutions navigate the post COVID-19 period.
Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director of Languages Canada, stated that, through the report: “We identified markets where Canada appears to be under-represented. This will help us navigate through the post-Covid-19 period.”
Furthermore, in response to the fact that the respondent language programs stated visa denials and visa processing times to be their prevalent concerns (expressed by almost 63% and 49% of respondents respectively), Peralta responded: “Not only do we take this aggregate data as a benchmark for the future once we are en route to recovery, we also use insight from this annual research as one of the guiding principles which inform our actions as the voice of Canada’s language education sector.”
In a previous report, GET News covered the statement made by Languages Canada, expressing their belief that Canada’s language education sector is “being decimated” by COVID-19.
This concern led Gonzalo Peralta, the executive director of Languages Canada, to write a letter to Canada’s Minister of Finance in order to raise this issue concerning the future of the sector.
Pic: Cris DiNoto
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 email@example.com