Canada failing to attract foreign students, says internal government study

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

OTTAWA - Internal research for the Department of Foreign Affairs has found that Canada is failing to attract high-quality university students from China, India and Brazil.

The findings of the focus groups conducted in those countries represent a setback to the Harper government's ambitious efforts to broaden Canadian trade and investment in the three emerging markets.

Initiatives designed to forge educational links have been a feature of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's strategy to deepen economic ties with Asia during his trips to China and India this year.

Meanwhile, Governor General David Johnston travelled to Brazil this past spring with 30 university presidents in tow, one of the biggest delegations abroad to push the benefits of Canadian education.

Ipsos-Reid said in its March report to Foreign Affairs that Canada needed to do more to "communicate its post-secondary education advantages" abroad.

Despite that conclusion, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird decided two months later to cut a popular program that promoted Canada in foreign universities.