Foreign students to fix Euro crisis

Nieuws | de redactie
3 augustus 2012 | International students contribute over €4 billion to the Canadian economy, a report shows. To boost this further, discriminating tuition fees for foreigners should be abandoned. This would generate job and tax revenues. Are there lessons to be learned for Europe?

The Canadian government was presented with a new report recommending that universities shouldabandon their policy that foreign students are charged between twoand six times as much for their studies.

Tax revenues, jobs and a reputation

Right now, 7% of Canadian GDP is generated by the educationservices sector. International students spend on average CDN$4.9billion (€4 billion) annually on tuition fees and basic livingexpenses. This created 86,570 jobs and generated CDN$ 455 million(€371 million) in tax revenues per year.

Beyond that, the report also confirmed a phenomenon which was observed in Australia: international studentsbring more tourists into the country. In addition to the aboveexpenses by foreign students, another CDN$ 336 million (€ 274million) can be attributed to increased revenues from tourismrelated activities by international students as well as theirfamily and friends.

Opposite trend in Europe

“Canada’s educational expertise is a valuable export that can bemeasured in comparison to other goods and service exports.International students can also become a valuable source of highlyskilled labor to our economy at a time when the western world isfacing potential labor shortages, especially among top talent,” thereport states.

The spokesman of Canada’s Trade Minister Ed Fast commented thatthese findings will become part of a new policy to attract moreforeign students. Meanwhile, European countries follow the oppositetrend. Sweden introduced foreign student tuition feesranging from €11,000 to €25,000 in 2011. Non-European students inthe Netherlands pay between €9,000 and €25,000annually. A similar policy is currently debated in Germany.

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