International Student Recruitment at BU

Brandon University should develop a comprehensive plan to recruit international students. Most Canadian universities have internationalized their student enrolment management plan to include student recruitment in non-traditional foreign countries.

The Canadian government annually distributes public dollars to the provinces to finance provincial health systems, post-secondary education, and other social welfare programs. Government is the major financial source for post-secondary institutions in Canada. Tuition paid by students is another important revenue source.

Federal transfers used for social spending by the provinces began to decrease in the mid-1990s. The Liberal and Conservative federal political parities legislated a series of austerity measures that significantly reduced once generous social welfare programs in Canada. Both parties told Canadians that fiscal restraint and limited government would ensure economic growth and prosperity for all Canadians.

The lack of federal support for post-secondary education has led to chronically underfunded Canadian universities. Cash-strapped post-secondary institutions have reacted to government fiscal restraint by increasing tuition and fees for students. International students pay much higher tuition and fees than domestic students.

The international student market represents an important economic opportunity for Canadian universities to exploit. Brandon University would do well to market itself on the world stage, particularly to rapidly growing countries in Latin America and Asia. Countries in these regions of the world are bursting at the seams with young people looking to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Brandon is a wonderful place for international students to receive a quality post-secondary education.

Recruitment of international students would have important positive economic and cultural benefits to Brandon University. An international student recruitment plan is an essential growth measure used by quality post-secondary institutions in Canada. Senior administration ought to develop an international enrollment plan that promotes Brandon University to the international community that would help grow the institution’s educational capacity.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 14, December 4, 2012.