Statement on the “Student Internship Pilot Program” and “My First Job in Newfoundland and Labrador Pilot Program”
The Canadian Federation of Students—Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to ensuring fairness for international students in accessing high quality post-secondary education in our province. Today in partnership with the Association of New Canadians, the Department of Advanced Education Skills and Labour announced two pilot projects to encourage international students to stay in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Student Internship Pilot Program for full-time international students and the My First Job in Newfoundland and Labrador Pilot Program for international student graduates are good first steps in fostering an inclusive and welcoming province. However, as a province with a multitude of social and economic barriers, we also need long-term solutions that offer a holistic approach to attracting and retaining international students.
Given the harsh economic realities facing international students, this means eliminating discriminatory differential tuition fees and covering international students under the current tuition fee freeze. The province must increase funding to post-secondary education to advance research and skills development for international students who continue to contribute to these fields without adequate support. Furthermore, while international students work between semesters to alleviate financial strain, it is imperative that the provincial healthcare program is available at all times.
As international students build their lives in this place, government programs with more robust action plans can move us towards becoming a province where immigration is not limited to the few but accessible for the many. We know that Newfoundland and Labrador faces a demographic crisis that cannot be solved without creating meaningful, inclusive, and economically viable solutions with international students—now. International students are essential members of our communities and we look forward to seeing all stakeholders in the province work together to make this place home for everyone.
Sofia Descalzi, Newfoundland and Labrador Representative, Canadian Federation of Students
Telephone: (709) 737 3204