Canada Beckons International Students With a Path to Citizenship
ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland — At the College of the North Atlantic here, a young Chinese woman stood discussing her future with two fellow students, a Bangladeshi man and a Korean woman, amid a flow of mostly pale Newfoundlanders in down coats and hoodies heading for class.
纽芬兰圣约翰斯——在这里的北大西洋学院(College of the North Atlantic)，穿着羽绒服和连帽衫赶去上课的学生中，以纽芬兰当地的白人为主。一名年轻的中国姑娘站在那里，和两个同学讨论自己的将来。她的这两个同学分别是一个来自孟加拉国的男生，和一个来自韩国的女生。
“The environment here is really good, so I think for my health I will stay,” said Fei Jie, from China’s eastern Shandong Province. The others said they, too, were planning to remain in the country after graduation, eventually becoming Canadian citizens.
Their path is no accident. They are three of hundreds of thousands of international students in Canada today as part of a government strategy to reshape Canadian demographics by funneling well-educated, skilled workers through the university system. It is an answer to Canada’s aging population and slowing birthrate, and an effort to shore up the nation’s tax base.
In November, the federal government changed its electronic immigration-selection system, called Express Entry, to make it easier for international students to become citizens. And a bill pending in the Senate would restore a rule that counts half of students’ time spent studying in Canada toward the period of residency required for citizenship.
The country needs talented immigrants to backfill a thinly spread, aging population. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the country’s immigration department, immigrants already make up 75 percent of the annual net growth in the country’s work force and are expected to account for 100 percent within 10 years.
该国需要富有才华的移民去补充其分散、老化的人口。据负责移民事务的加拿大联邦移民、难民及公民部(Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)称，移民已占该国劳动力年净增长量的75%，并且预计会在10年内达到100%。
The strategy, which builds on a decade-long trend and was formally laid out in 2014, seems to be working. In the 2015-16 school year, Canada’s international student population grew 8 percent to more than 350,000 — equal to roughly 1 percent of the country’s population. The number of international students in the United States is less than one-third of 1 percent of the population.
Canada expects to have nearly half a million international students studying in the country within 10 years. And more than half its students from abroad hope to stay in the country and become Canadian citizens, according to a survey by the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
在加拿大留学的国际学生人数预计会在10年内达到近50万。而加拿大国际教育局(Canadian Bureau for International Education)进行的一项调查显示，超过一半的外国学生希望留下来，成为加拿大公民。
“All of the building blocks are in place, just in terms of the reputation of our education system for quality, the reputation of the country as tolerant and safe, and the affordability of education in Canada and the opportunities that Canada gives to international students to be welcomed on a more permanent basis,” said Karen McBride, the president of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, an association of educational institutions.
Internationalizing Canadian education promises a deep and lasting effect on the country, binding it to other nations and cultures through the family ties and the broader perspectives of international students who become citizens and may even rise to positions of national power. Canada’s new immigration minister, for example, arrived in the country as a Somali refugee and earned a law degree at the University of Ottawa.
让加拿大教育国际化势必会对该国产生深远的影响。一些国际学生会成为公民，甚至晋升到掌握国家权力的职位。国际化会通过他们的家庭纽带和更广阔的视角，把加拿大和其他国家及文化结合在一起。比如，加拿大的新任移民部长便是以索马里难民的身份来到加拿大，并在渥太华大学(University of Ottawa)获得法律学位的。
But the strategy may also lead to tensions similar to those seen in the United States and Europe as the makeup of Canadian society evolves and less educated segments of the mostly white work force feel pushed aside.
Since the early 1970s, when Canada embraced multiculturalism, the percentage of what it calls “visible minorities” has ballooned to about 20 percent of the population.
Statistics Canada, the country’s census bureau, predicts that the number will reach nearly 30 percent by 2030. Nonwhites will make up a majority of the population in Toronto and Vancouver.
So far, Canadians have shown a remarkable equanimity toward the influx, one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the developed world. While polls show a gradual uptick in concern about the flow of new arrivals, mostly tied to unskilled Syrian refugees, the country on the whole remains welcoming to outsiders.
But non-Canadians are already crowding out local students at some of the country’s best-known schools. International students at McGill University in Montreal make up a quarter of total enrollments. In British Columbia, where students from abroad make up 18 percent of the total enrollment, people in the province are beginning to grumble that locals are being passed over in favor of non-Canadians who pay higher fees.
The University of British Columbia created a controversy with its plans to spend 127 million Canadian dollars, roughly $95 million, to build a school, Vantage College, for international students — mostly Chinese — who need to improve their English before matriculating at the university.
不列颠哥伦比亚大学(University of British Columbia)因计划投入1.27亿加拿大元（约合6.7亿元人民币），为进入该大学之前需要提升英语水平的国际学生，主要是中国学生修建一个名为万蒂奇学院(Vantage College)的学校而引发争议。
Similar tensions have plagued schools in the United States that increasingly rely on tuition from international students to balance their budgets.
International students typically pay more than domestic students, and many, particularly from China, come from affluent families eager to establish a toehold in North America. The money these students bring helps subsidize education for domestic students, but can also distort local economies.
About half of Canada’s inbound students come from China and the government wants even more. Former Immigration Minister John McCallum, recently named ambassador to China, met with Chinese officials in August, hoping to double or even triple the number of Canadian visa application centers in mainland China from the four the country has now, not including Hong Kong.
Amit Chakma, the president of the University of Western Ontario who led a 2012 government advisory panel that developed the core of the government strategy, said there was plenty of capacity among smaller, high-quality institutions in Canada that are struggling to fill their classrooms as applications from high school graduates fall.
西安大略大学(University of Western Ontario)校长阿米特·查克马(Amit Chakma)说，加拿大一些较小的高质量机构还有大量的容量，因为随着高中毕业生提交的申请减少，它们无法让教室里坐满学生。2012年，查克马领导的一个政府顾问小组制定了该战略的核心内容。
Indeed, it’s not just major cities that are attracting students from abroad. High schools, colleges and universities across the country are seeing an influx of international students. The fastest growth in the past year has been on tiny Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province. Yukon College’s website, meanwhile, has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese.
实际上，吸引海外学生的不仅仅是大城市。全加拿大的高中、学院和大学都在经历国际学生的大量涌入。过去一年里增长最快的是小岛爱德华王子岛(Prince Edward Island)。那里是加拿大最小的省。与此同时，育空学院(Yukon College)的网站也被翻译成了中文、日文、韩文和葡萄牙文。
Even the broad middle of the country is getting its fair share. The Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology in Regina, for example, has expanded its International English Language Testing System program to meet the demand, which has doubled, by non-Canadians who need to pass the English proficiency exam for immigration requirements.
就连广阔的加拿大中部地区也分到了自己应得的一杯羹。比如，萨斯喀彻温应用科技学院里贾纳分校(Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology in Regina)扩大了自己的国际英语语言测试系统课程，以满足非加拿大人带来的需求翻番。为了符合移民条件，他们须通过该英语水平考试。
Jack Wu, who arrived from China, manages the design of circuit protection systems for hydro-electric transmission lines. He studied at the College of the North Atlantic in St. John’s before earning an electrical engineering degree in 2005 from Ontario’s Lakehead University. He and his wife immigrated through a provincial program for people who have studied in Newfoundland and Labrador. The process from student to citizen took them about two and a half years.
杰克·吴(Jack Wu)来自中国，现在管理着水电输电线路电路保护系统的设计。他曾在北大西洋学院设在圣约翰斯的分校学习，后于2005年从安大略省雷克海德大学(Lakehead University)获得电气工程学位。他和妻子是通过一个面向在纽芬兰与拉布拉多省留学者的省级项目移民的。从学生变成公民的过程花了他们大约两年半的时间。
“Our daughters were born here,” Mr. Wu said proudly, sitting in a Tim Hortons, the quintessentially Canadian fast-food chain. “They are Newfoundlanders.”