PEI

$500K to help UPEI international students stay in province

International students at UPEI are getting some extra support to encourage them to stay in the province to work or continue their studies.

ACOA and P.E.I. government money to help students explore opportunities to work, study further

International students now make up 22 per cent of UPEI's full-time student population. (CBC)

International students at UPEI are getting some extra support to encourage them to stay in the province to work or continue their studies.

More than half a million dollars will be available over the next two years to help with retention.

International students make up 22 per cent of UPEI's full-time student population.

The numbers have been growing steadily in recent years. In 2014-15 there were 685 international students. This year there are 894.

"This important diversity adds so much in terms of cultural exchange and learnings among all of our students," said UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, in a news release.

Students from 70 countries

"By attracting students from over 70 countries around the world, UPEI has already shown strong leadership in this area," said Sean Casey, Charlottetown MP, in a news release.

UPEI has increased its support to international students for the past year-and-a-half, with help from ACOA and the province, to help with language training and adapting to life in Canada.

This new money will expand on that support by hiring a liaison officer to help current international students through to graduation. They will be encouraged to continue their studies here after their first degree, and to there will be help finding employment when they graduate. The liaison officer will also work part-time with students at Holland College and College Acadie.

The money will also be used to attract foreign students through targeted advertising and taking part in international education fairs.

 ACOA is providing $493,631 under its Business Development Program and the P.E.I. government is providing $52,790 through the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning.

About the Author

Sally Pitt

Producer

Sally Pitt is a producer with CBC and has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years in online, TV, radio and print. She specializes in justice issues and also works with the CBC Atlantic Investigative Unit. You can reach her at sally.pitt@cbc.ca.

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