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Ontario Attracting International Students

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Ontario Attracting International Students

McGuinty Government Acts To Protect And Retain Students

Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Ontario is taking steps to become the destination of choice for international students by protecting the excellence of its post-secondary education and making it easier for international PhD students to stay in the province.

The province intends to introduce amendments to the Post-Secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act that would, if passed, allow the government to better protect students and safeguard the quality of post-secondary education in Ontario. The amendments would strengthen the province's ability to shut down unscrupulous and unauthorized educational organizations and prevent them from taking advantage of International and Ontario students.

Changes have also been made to the Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program to make it easier for highly skilled Ontario-trained international PhD graduates to stay in the province. These graduates will no longer need an offer of employment to apply to the program to be fast-tracked for permanent residence.

These changes support the Ontario government's five-year Open Ontario plan to build a stronger economy by creating new opportunities in our schools, colleges, universities and trades. As part of this plan, the government will aggressively promote Ontario's postsecondary schools abroad and increase international enrolment by 50 per cent while guaranteeing spaces for qualified Ontario students. 

Quick Facts

  • The Post-Secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act came into effect in 2001 to expand access to degree programs, improve student protection and to implement quality assurance for the new degree programs.
  • Ontario universities with the highest international PhD student population are: University of Toronto; University of Waterloo; University of Western Ontario; Queen's University; McMaster University; University of Ottawa.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Immigration is Ontario's lifeblood. Ontarians will benefit from the skills of international PhD graduates trained right here in Ontario. Their knowledge and expertise in research, health care, education and the sciences will help Ontario compete on the global stage and contribute to the quality of life of Ontarians here at home.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration

“We are moving today to ensure our students continue to be protected and to maintain a strong and internationally recognized post-secondary education system. Ontario is recognized as a leader in quality assurance - and we aim to protect that reputation at home and abroad.”

John Milloy

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

Media Contacts

  • Indira Naidoo-Harris

    MCI Minister's Office


  • Jack Kado

    MCI Communications Branch


  • Annette Phillips (for media)

    Minister Milloy's Office


  • Patrick O'Gorman (for media)

    TCU Communications Branch




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