Border restrictions relaxing to allow more international students
BARRIE, ONT. -- Georgian College has seen a 30 per cent drop in new international students this fall because of the pandemic, which puts a dent in the college's revenue.
There are currently fewer than 200 new international students either in-person or online at Georgian's seven campuses this semester.
Each student was approved and entered Ontario before the pandemic and self-isolated for 14 days after arrival.
Kevin Weaver, vice president of academics at Georgian College, says they expect more to arrive after the federal government announced it would loosen restrictions to allow international students back into the country.
"The government of Canada has made a change effective today that post-secondary institutions that have a preparedness plan that is approved at the provincial level, then those students can now enter Canada for purposes of study," he says.
Weaver says visiting students will be offered quarantine packages.
"If they buy a package, for example, from Georgian College, that will include private transportation to either residence or a hotel. It will include some insurance for them. They will get a Georgian welcome package... it's support... it's a daily check-in... it's to make sure they are mentally and physically looked after," Weaver says.
The college submitted its COVID preparedness plan to the government for approval. The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has reviewed it and passed it on to the Ministry of Health.
Georgian College hopes to get the green light in time for the winter semester.