OTTAWA, August 22, 2019 – Today, the Government of Canada unveiled its plan to support post-secondary students who wish to enhance their education through international experience. The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is happy to see investments to make international experiences more accessible, but also stresses that barriers to education here in Canada continue to exist and require action.
In Budget 2019, the federal government announced that they would invest $147.9 million over the next five years into an International Education Strategy, with the intent of both attracting more international students to Canada and sending our own students abroad.
“International education experiences, such as study abroad, expose students to other ways of living and working, ultimately increasing the quality of education. This further equips graduates with key skills that will aid them in a competitive market,” explains Adam Brown, Chair of CASA and VP External at the University of Alberta Students’ Union. “We are happy to see financial aid to support international experiences, meaning that these opportunities will be more accessible to those who would typically face financial barriers.”
However, students recognize that while this is an exciting announcement, there are still serious barriers to post-secondary education within Canada alone that must not be ignored. For instance, it was reported in 2011 that 48.4% of Indigenous peoples in Canada had a post-secondary credential compared to 64.7% of non-Indigenous peoples.
“Increasing access to international education experiences unlocks a key aspect of a quality education for many, but CASA urges the government to continue to make investments that will also unlock post-secondary experiences for Canadians that continue to face barriers, so that anyone who wishes to pursue an education, can.”
Established in 1995, the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan, not-for-profit, national student organization composed of 23 student associations representing 280,000 post-secondary students from coast to coast. With its partnership with the Quebec Student Union (QSU), CASA represents a total of 360,000 students across Canada and presents a national student voice to the federal government. CASA advocates for a Canadian post-secondary education system that is accessible, affordable, innovative, and of the highest quality.
Lindsay Boyd, Director of Operations and Communications