New immigration strategy helps international recruitment
On March 20, provincial government launched a new provincial immigration strategy, Diversity ~ Opportunity and Growth.
The immigration strategy outlines initiatives aimed at attracting and retaining immigrants to Newfoundland and Labrador. Due to demographic challenges facing Newfoundland and Labrador, including a declining and aging population, lower birth rates and out-migration, attracting and retaining immigration will help to enhance the economic, social and cultural growth of the province.
“This strategy is significant to our international recruitment efforts,” said Dr. Axel Meisen, president of Memorial University. “Creating a culturally-diverse study body and establishing Memorial as a quality internationally-recognized university is something that will be of benefit to all of our students.”
The university’s strategic plan states that the number of international students, both undergraduate and graduate, needs to increase over the next couple of years.
Two goals in particular outlined in the strategy that will assist Memorial’s international recruitment efforts are to increase enrollment of post-secondary international students and to increase retention of these students upon graduation. Several tools have been identified to implement these goals, including providing Medical Care Plan (MCP) coverage to international students, allowing international students to work off-campus as well as allowing international graduates to work in the province for up to two years post-graduation.
“The initiatives announced in the immigration strategy clearly show our international students that we value them and are committed to efforts to assist them to build their lives in our province,” says Sonja Knutson, international student programmer with Student Affairs and Services. “The new off-campus and post-graduate work permits are enabling our international students to develop networks that encourage them to remain in our province after they complete their academic programs.”
For more information on the province’s immigration strategy, please see www.hrle.gov.nl.ca/hrle/immigration/pdf/strategydoc-mar07.pdf.