Home Post-Secondary Royal Roads University Royal Roads response to federal cap on International students

Royal Roads response to federal cap on International students

Royal Roads University currently teaches 880 international students.

hatley castle, royal roads
Hatley Castle at the Royal Roads University campus in Colwood, BC, summer 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Sunday January 28, 2024 | COLWOOD, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

In response to the federal announcement of international student caps, the BC Government will be making an announcement on Monday January 29.

Meanwhile, today Premier David Eby said on CBC’s Rosemary Barton Live that BC has received the cap numbers and it will only work for BC post-secondary if an exemption is made for health care training.

Two years:

marc miller, immigration
Federal Immigration Minister Marc Miller in Ottawa, Jan 22, 2024. [CPAC]

The caps for two years (2024 and 2025) are intended to help ease the short-term with Canada’s housing supply shortage and related challenges to the health care system.

Placements for undergraduate-level students (first to fourth-year studies at university, and shorter program durations at colleges) will primarily be affected by the caps. Students in post-graduate studies (Masters and PhD) will not be impacted. Neither will students in elementary or high school levels in BC.

Learning institutions at all levels of study in BC seek to have international students which — with the higher tuition being required — helps with operational budgets.

BC announcement coming January 29:

So far, the BC Minister of Post-Secondary and Future Skills says it aims to increase quality standards in international education.

selina robinson
Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills, Selina Robinson, announces the Future Ready plan on May 2, 2023 in Vancouver. [livestream]

“We have known about the issues facing international students for some time and we are actively working with the federal government on solving them, and making sure that international students receive the quality education they were promised,” Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary and Future Skills, said in a statement to Island Social Trends on January 23.

Minister Robinson will make an announcement on January 29 with further details.

Local studies at Royal Roads University:

In this context, Royal Roads University has released a statement about the impact of the federal government’s International student cap.

Royal Roads has mostly post-graduate students at this time (about 75 percent of their student population). The new Royal Roads West Shore Campus is currently still scheduled to open in September 2024 (generally intended to bolster undergrad attendance from recent west shore/SD62 high school graduates).

Two post-secondary campuses in the Greater Victoria area with a larger focus on undergrad studies are the University of Victoria (in Saanich/Oak Bay area) and Camosun College (one campus in Saanich/Oak Bay area and the other in the Interurban/Burnside area).

Royal Roads University statement about international student caps

(January 26, 2024)

“The first message we need to communicate is that Canada is open for business for international students. International students make an enormous contribution to our economy and society, and we will continue to welcome them. 

philip steenkamp, royal roads
Royal Roads University President Philip Steenkamp in his office, Aug 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

“At Royal Roads we teach about 880 international students and about 3,400 domestic students a year. As the federal government’s cap does not include graduate students the impact will be lower at RRU; 70 to 75 percent of our students are graduate students. 

“This cap is intended to help alleviate the housing shortage and limit international students attending institutions that do not provide high-quality educational or student services. Having said that, the cap is a blunt instrument and there are many details outcomes yet to be worked through. 

concrete, royal roads, feb 2023
Day-long concrete pour at the Royal Roads University West Shore Campus at 798 Goldstream Ave in Langford, Feb 2023. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

“Royal Roads will continue to provide high-quality, changemaking education to a significant number of international students each year. 

“Currently the percentage of international students by level of study is approximately 14 per cent undergraduate students and 86 per cent graduate students. In 2023 RRU estimates we will see about 3,400 domestic students and 880 international students. 

“We are working with the provincial government and BC Housing to secure funding for more housing on campus and in the Westshore to support new students coming here. The international student cap will not impact the opening date of the new campus.”

soil quality, workshop, langford, 2024

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Island Social Trends has been covering news of the west shore at IslandSocialTrends.ca since mid-2020, and before that as West Shore Voice News (2014-2020).

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has covered local and regional news of the west shore and south Vancouver Island region since 2008. After covering the daily COVID news in 2020-2022 she now also covers provincial news issues, reporting with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.