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Canada implements framework to identify universities eligible to welcome international students



Canada’s Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has unveiled an ambitious plan to revolutionize its International Student Program (ISP) by implementing the Trusted Institution framework into its student visa system by 2024.

The framework ensures that higher education institutions that meet the demanding criteria will earn the designation of “Trusted Institutions”.

Although the complete impact of this acknowledgement is not yet revealed, the IRCC has outlined potential benefits which include a streamlined application processing for potential students applying to these institutions.

This strategic move represents a crucial advancement in the overhaul of the ISP, as it redefines the assessment standards for universities, improves the effectiveness of the application procedure, and reinforces the standing of recognized institutions among the global international student populace.

This means that prospective international students from Nigeria need to identify Canadian universities with the Trusted Framework before applying to avoid potential student visa rejection.

Ensuring the reliability of higher institutions 

A key element of the upcoming transformation is to completely transform the evaluation process for higher institutions eligible to welcome international students.

Although specific details are yet to be revealed, those familiar with it indicate that the framework centres on a thorough evaluation of institutions using a predefined set of criteria.

These criteria encompass sustainable enrollment protocols, precise verification of authentic international students, rigorous supervision and adherence reporting, and the assurance of a secure and enriching atmosphere for global scholars.

Why this came about

The origins of the Trusted Institution framework can be traced back to a crucial presentation hosted by the IRCC in June of 2023.

This disclosure was directed at key representative bodies and stakeholders and was a result of an extensive assessment of the International Student Program (ISP), which was conducted as part of the wider Strategic Immigration Review.

The notion emerges from the Strategic Immigration Review, in conjunction with a comprehensive assessment of the ISP. This assessment identified several areas of concern, such as:

  • Apprehensions regarding the vulnerability of international students, especially in light of recent accounts of exploitation or mistreatment of students.
  • A substantial growth rate in the volume of applications.
  • The imperative for a greater degree of diversity within the international student demographic.

This thorough examination brought to light significant issues, including the susceptibility of international students, a considerable rise in application numbers, and the urgent necessity for increased diversity within the international student community.

Presently, all Canadian institutions that host international students are required to possess the status of a Designated Learning Institution, granted by their respective provincial or territorial authorities.

This framework brings about a notable distinction between institutions holding the Trusted designation and those that do not foster a secure, diverse, and enriching academic environment for students from around the globe.

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