Int’l students’ issues debated in Advocacy Week
The difficulties international students face through the Canadian job market and immigration system were part of the discussions between students and politicians taking place during Advocacy Week, an event organised by the Canadian Alliance of Students Associations and the Quebec Students Unions.
Established to generate discussions between students and politicians on the issues affecting Canadian campuses, the event saw students from across Canada gathering in Ottawa and attending about 150 meetings members of parliament, senators and ministers.
“These factors have further exacerbated the challenges that international students face”
The response, CASA’s board chair Adam Brown told The PIE News, was positive.
“When it comes to our advocacy for international students, politicians were generally very supportive of making the immigration system and international student-specific services on campus better,” he said.
“CASA is going to continue to push its recommendations forward over the next few weeks to make sure that they remain top-of-mind for those who are integral to turning them into action!”
The priority identified for this year’s Advocacy Week was sexual violence prevention on campus.
“We want to make sure that the money government has invested to address sexual violence on campus is used to its utmost potential, so that students are better protected,” CASA’s board chair Adam Brown said in a statement.
But issues affecting international students were also at the heart of the discussions.
Members of student associations highlighted the fact that international students face barriers when trying to participate in co-ops and internships, and they have access to a much smaller range of scholarship and funding opportunities than their domestic counterparts.
Met with @CASAACAE members from across Canada to hear their invaluable input & ideas on how to improve #PSE, including such issues as internships, international students, investments in graduate research, inclusive & safe campuses #StudentsTakeTheHill pic.twitter.com/cvB8uKn2Zf
— Shaun Chen (@Shaun_Chen) November 28, 2018
Another issue raised was Article 91 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which prevents international student officers on campuses from giving migration advice.
“These factors have further exacerbated the challenges that international students face,” CASA explained in a statement.