Ontario colleges set standards to strengthen programs for international students

Students in a classroom

(TORONTO, March 16, 2023) – Ontario’s colleges have today released a new set of common sector-wide standards to strengthen the programs and supports for international students.

“Every qualified student deserves to get an excellent post-secondary education,” said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “These new standards will help ensure international students can succeed in their programs.”

The standards build on existing programs and services and cover everything from the marketing of programs in other countries to targeted assistance to help students adapt to life in Ontario.

As well, the standards incorporate best practices from other jurisdictions and align with similar standards in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Twenty-three public colleges have signed on to begin the compliance process immediately.

Each signatory college’s commitments include:

  • Ensuring the marketing of programs to international students is accurate and transparent.
  • Requiring international agents working for Ontario’s colleges to have completed a sector-endorsed agent training program.
  • Ensuring information on services, supports and facilities are provided to students before they arrive in Ontario and once they are in the province. This would include information on mental well-being, student housing and employment opportunities.
  • Providing targeted assistance to help international students adjust to a new environment.

The sector has initiated work on a quality assurance process to conduct regular audits of each signatory college’s fulfillment of the standards. Further details on that process will be announced in the coming months.

“Attracting more international students is pivotal to Ontario’s efforts to produce a more highly qualified workforce,” Franklin said. “We will continue to work with our students, our communities and the government to ensure Ontario remains an attractive destination for students from across the globe.”


For more information:

Rob Savage
Vice-President, Communications
Colleges Ontario