The government of Canada has lowered the boom on international students.  A few things are worth mentioning:

  1. The number of new study permits issued will be reduced by 35% and be capped at that level for two years.
  2. This reduction will be achieved, in part, by reducing the number of study permits issued for Ontario-bound students by 50%.
  3. Students attending so-called “public-private partnership” schools will no longer be eligible for post-graduation work permits.  This means the schools will lose their whole raison d’etre.  It also means Canada will be a much less attractive destination for international students in general.  The significance of this change cannot be understated.  To me, it is more significant than the aforementioned cap.

Many students are wondering which schools are public-private partnerships.  Here’s a list of the ones I am aware of:

  • Pures College, Toronto
  • Alpha College, Toronto
  • Canadore@Stanford, Toronto
  • Lambton College, Mississauga
  • Cestar College, Toronto
  • triOS College, Various
  • Toronto Business College, Mississauga
  • Toronto School of Management, Toronto
  • Hanson College, Various
  • Ace Acumen Academy, Various

As for how this will affect the business of language testing?  By my math, testing companies (mostly IDP and Pearson) will lose out on about $27 million USD in test registration fees (130 thousand tests @ $210 per test).  Not to mention all the extra stuff they profit from.  That’s significant.  IDP’s share price is down 9% in early trading (as I write this).

A bigger loser over the long term might be Canada’s favorite unicorn, ApplyBoard, which has achieved a valuation of about $4 billion thanks to its expertise in student recruitment.  Note that ETS is heavily invested in that firm through their private equity arm, ETS Strategic Capital.

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