Dean of the School of Community and Public Affairs
Chedly Belkhodja: For the most part, I believe the impact of this research will be to gain a better understanding of how international students contribute to Canada’s prosperity, not just at the economic level, but the real importance of the place that international students have in Canada right now.
International students form a growing population in Canadian universities. Their impact is much more than a monetary contribution, but it is also a contribution in terms of social capital, cultural capital, and innovation for the Canadian economy. For me, it is at this level that the research will shed new light.
There is an important element, and that is the growing desire for international students to become potential immigrants to Canada—so [we need to ensure] that there are policies in place.
There has been a great deal of innovation in Canada. Canada is recognized globally as a country that does a lot for immigration policies for students, but I think the most important thing to be done right now is to ensure that students can obtain adequate services upon graduation to help them find a job that is equivalent to their diploma. And that is very important. So who provides these services? In my opinion, this is the key issue—the ability to accompany these students in their process of integrating into Canada.