Canada top choice for students of UAE

DUBAI — Canada is emerging as the favourite destination for pursuing higher education among students in the UAE, thanks to easier visa process and lower cost of living compared to the US and the UK.

By Preeti Kannan

Published: Sun 11 Nov 2007, 8:44 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:35 AM

This was revealed during interactions with the parents and students who visited the second Canadian Embassy Higher Education Fair in Dubai on Thursday.

The fair, which began in Saudi Arabia on November 4, was held in Dubai on Thursday and in Al Ain yesterday. It will shift to Abu Dhabi tomorrow.

Easier entry in to universities without entrance tests, unlike other countries, is another factor luring students to Canadian institutions.

Shabana Bashir, who is considering sending her son to Canada for an undergraduate course, told Khaleej Times, “Since not all universities in that country require TOEFL, IELTS or SAT, we feel it is a good option for him. Besides, the visa process is easier than in the US or the UK and the cost of living is comparatively less.”

She is also swayed by the feeling that Canada is much safer for students than elsewhere.

Another parent, Padmini Shankaran, said apart from the problem of finding affordable accommodation, “it is more difficult to get into the top universities in the US than into Canada’s cream of universities.”

“Also, after you finish your degree, you have a work permit for two years unlike other places.”

Student Arvind Ram, who attended the fair, noted, “It is easier to settle down when you know there are many from your community living and studying there. Besides, I can work and study simultaneously,” he said.

Simone Jucker, executive director of Edu Nova, which is jointly holding the event, said the fair had seen a good turnout for undergraduate and master’s programmes.

“People still need to understand the opportunities Canada has to offer and the reasons they want to study there. “We’ve seen interest among students in the region to study in Canada. Most come to pursue architecture and engineering courses. However, Australia is still a strong competitor,” she remarked.

Courtney Gillan, manager of International Recruitment and Admissions from the University of Saskatchewan in western Canada, said there is a growing need of immigrants in fields like engineering, psychology, international business, medicine, banking and finance in Canada.

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