Skip to main content

Manitoba universities waiting for more details after international student cap announced


A federal cap on international students coming to study in Canada is stirring up mixed reactions.

On Monday, immigration minister Marc Miller announced a temporary two-year cap on foreign enrollment starting in 2024. The government said it will cut off the number of approved permits at 364,000 – 35 percent less than the previous year.

Miller said the cap aims to target institutional “bad actors” charging exorbitantly high tuition fees for international students, as well as “maintain a sustainable level of temporary residence in Canada.”

Miller said cap space would be allocated by provinces and territories based on population, meaning some will see a sharper reduction in the number of international students permitted.

Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew said the province is seeking more clarity on the cap.

“We’ve asked the federal government for details on what their announcement means for Manitoba today,” Kinew said. “And they have not provided those answers yet. We’re still waiting.”

Post-secondary institutions in Manitoba said it’s still too soon to say how they will be impacted. The universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, as well as Red River College Polytech, told CTV News they are reviewing the announcement and will work with the province and Ottawa to understand how the measures will be implemented.

Assiniboine Community College president Mark Frison said he thinks the federal government is mostly concerned with foreign enrollment processes in Ontario.

“On the prairies, it's largely been about population growth, and how we help to move forward a growing a growing economy here,” he said. “In Ontario, it's largely been about money…the programs and the institutions haven't been financed to the level that they might desire. And as a result, international students have been filling the gap.”

He said instead of dealing with the issue within Ontario, the changes will apply to all provinces and territories.

“As opposed to dealing with the problem a little more directly, the rest of us could get sideswiped quite a bit,” Frison said.

Tracy Karuhogo, the president of the University of Manitoba Students’ Union said the cap won’t solve the housing crisis or the financial challenges facing international students already in Canada, and she’s calling for more support.

“One of the things that I think would have brought some glimpse of hope to us is that permanent extension of working hours for international students,” she said. Top Stories


BREAKING Toronto police officer stabbed, suspect shot

A Toronto police officer shot a 28-year-old man who stabbed him during an altercation in the city's west end on Friday afternoon, the province's police watchdog said.

Stay Connected