Building on the success of its strong relationship with China, Red River College is actively recruiting in India this week and will sign deals with five educational institutions to bring hundreds of new students to Manitoba.
The enrollment of Indian students will increase opportunities for Manitoba students and help address Manitoba’s shortage of skilled labour. This year RRC has more than 150 students from China alone, and another 380 from several other countries, enrolled in three campuses. These successful models will be repeated to attract students from India with five-year agreements. After recruiting in India, RRC will target more international students working with sister campuses and educators in South America.
“Our India relationships benefit the college, the Province and India,” said RRC President and CEO Stephanie Forsyth from Delhi, India. “Foreign students, who pay the full cost of their education, allow us to develop even more programs and seats for Manitobans. Just as importantly, foreign students bring the global community to us. When they join our students and faculty on campus they help us all learn about their culture, and that helps us see how we can grow Manitoba and Canadian business abroad.”
“India has a growing number of youth striving to achieve a strong post-secondary education,” added Forsyth, “but the competition for limited spaces in India is strong. We provide educational opportunities in Canada that might otherwise be impossible to attain in India. The vast majority of these students have their sights on Canada as their future home.”
Forsyth is in India this week as part of the Manitoba government’s trade mission and will sign education agreements with:
- Bal Bharati Institute, Mumbai, India
- Continental Institute for International Studies, Chandigarh, India
- Knowledge Consortium of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, India
- St. Mary’s College, Hyderabad, India
- Xplora Design Skool, Ahmedabad, India
“RRC’s work in India and China complement our efforts to expand trade and investment with the world’s fastest growing economies, while promoting Manitoba internationally as one of the best places in Canada to immigrate, put down roots and get an education,” said Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.
“More families and businesses are choosing Manitoba, and to grow our economy we need this trend to continue and to expand. RRC is an excellent partner in helping us do both,” said Selinger.
Institutions in India that RRC will sign agreements with this week are particularly interested in getting training for their students in RRC ‘s Aircraft Maintenance and Repair, Technical Communication, Creative Communications, Business Administration, Electrical Technology, International Business, Hospitality Management, Digital Media Design, Graphic Design and 3D Computer Graphics programs, said Eddy Lau, International Education Project Manager at RRC.
“Today many Manitoba companies are either working in foreign countries or have plans to expand their business abroad. When local students have the chance to study with foreign students or even just go out for pizza together, it helps build their ability to work for Canadian companies that work worldwide,” said Lau, who grew up in Malaysia.
“India reminds me of my home country of Malaysia 22 years ago when I was growing up there,” said Lau. “For example, access to construction electrician programs is not widely available in India. Most construction electricians there learn everything they can in informal apprenticeship, learning from the owner of an electrician shop. The skills are still passed down from generation to generation. It’s one of the trade programs we know students from India want to take at RRC.”
RRC Academic Coordinator for Aviation and Aerospace, Christopher Walters, said,”We’ve had a large number of international students attend our program and having these students here has made us better at what we do.”
“We offer better programs because of them,” added Walters. “Our program trains Aircraft Maintenance Engineers to an international standard. We offer our program four times a year and we hold 40 per cent of our seats exclusively for international applicants. The aviation industry is losing people to attrition and retirement at a record pace and we are having difficulty filling these jobs. Many young Canadians are not seeking employment in aircraft maintenance – yet they are great jobs.”
Curt Enns, Owner of Wings Over Kississing air service in Flin Flon, Manitoba, hired RRC graduates and recent immigrants from India Vivian Mariraj and Supreet Garcha as apprentice aircraft mechanics.
“What I’ve learned about hiring international students is that if someone has left their family and travelled half way across the world to get an education and to look for something better, then they probably have the right jam to make a solid contribution to your company,” said Enns.
Alden Fonesca, an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer student, said, “I was interested in aircraft maintenance but my job prospects in India are not that good. I am willing to move anywhere in Canada and will keep applying until I get a job.”
Since moving here in August from Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay), the 21-year-old Alden said he’s working hard but really misses his mom’s cooking.
Facts on Red River College’s International Student Program
44 – Number of international students at RRC in 1997-98
536 – Number of international students at RRC in 2011-2012
5.8 – Percentage of international students that made up the entire RRC student population in 2012
15 – Percentage of international students RRC plans to have by 2020
300% – how much more (on average) an international student pays for the same program as a Manitoba student
2009 – year RRC launched its initiative to bring more international students to Manitoba
China, India, Korea – RRC’s top three international student partner countries
75,000 – the number of skilled workers required in Manitoba by 2020 (source: 2012 Throne Speech)
Red River College, Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning offers more than 200 full-time degree, diploma and certificate programs and has more than 30,000 enrolments annually.
Facts on Manitoba Immigration*
15,962 – Number of immigrants to Manitoba in 2011
3,725 – Number of immigrants to Manitoba in 1999
4 fold –– Increase in immigrants in the last 10 years
3.6 – Percentage of Canada’s total population made up of Manitobans in 2011
6.4 – Percentage of Canada’s total new immigrant population that came to Manitoba in 2011
Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg – Top four most popular destinations in Canada for immigrants in 2011
*Immigration Statistics Source: Manitoba – Immigration and Multiculturalism