Evolution of Saskatchewan's recruitment, employment, and immigration policies for international students within the context of Canadian federalism
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This thesis provides an understanding of the multitude of socio-economic factors and motivations that impinged on the Saskatchewan government’s decisions for creating policies for the retention of international students as immigrants. The state-centric and political economy perspectives are used to assist in understanding the complex interplay between these factors and motivations in the context of the federal nature of the Canadian policy making environment. The analysis demonstrates that the emphasis on recruitment and retention of international students is not unique to Saskatchewan. International students possess the attributes that are desired in an immigrant because of their proficiency in at least one of the official languages, they have Canadian post-secondary education, and they are acclimated to life in Canada/Saskatchewan. Given the existing and emerging skilled labour shortages globally, the competition for skilled labour is intensifying and international students represent part of the solution to the problem. Secondly, the analysis demonstrates that the relationships between the federal and provincial governments and the constitution governing them, has impacted the policy outcomes regarding international students. Almost all policies have emerged out of a federal-provincial agreement or a memorandum of understanding. This thesis reveals that the growing number of international students in the province’s post-secondary institutions is partly a function of a concerted effort to make Saskatchewan an education destination. The provincial government is hoping to continue to increase the levels through marketing and strategic partnerships. Similar to countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, the federal government has recognized the financial and social benefits, and is also making a significant investment in branding and marketing Canada as an attractive place to study and work. In addition to growing enrolment, the province is also providing opportunities for international graduates to stay in the province after they graduate. The Saskatchewan Provincial Nominee Program’s student category plays an integral role in the retention of international students post-graduation. In addition to creating immigration opportunities for international graduates, the Saskatchewan and Canadian governments have also eased the restrictions on employment for students while studying and post-graduation. Moreover, the Saskatchewan government has extended some tax benefits to international students if they work in the province after completing their studies. The thesis concludes that despite potential drawbacks, such as the brain drain experienced by the sending countries and the potential impact on Aboriginal Peoples involvement in the labour market, Saskatchewan and Canada will likely continue along the path of recruiting international students, providing them opportunities after they graduate, not only to stay and work but also to immigrate to the province.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
CommitteeHuq, Mobinal; Hibbert, Neil; Romanow, Roy
Copyright DateMarch 2012