The Gulf News Study in Canada education fair, organised in partnership with Charms Education and Immigration Services, concluded on a high note yesterday as more than 4,500 visitors explored higher education options offered by Canada’s leading universities and colleges.
The two-day event, held at Radisson Blu Waterfront Dubai on September 24 and 25, was successful in guiding students and their parents towards the right courses and institutions. The event saw representatives from over 25 of the top Canadian universities interact with students and families about higher education opportunities, visa, travel and accommodation options, scholarships, educational expenses and cost of living, financing as well as medical insurance options.
Manish Paitka, CEO of Charms Education and Immigration Services said the two-day event was successful in providing comprehensive guidance to students looking for higher education in Canada.
“Our focus has been for the students to get the assessments right, because many students are not sure of what is good for them. Here we do the assessment check comprehensively, we do the eligibility check, and we offer them the solutions according to their requirements. It is not only the educational part of the requirements that we assess, but also other aspects such as eligibility for a scholarship, budgetary constraints if any, or whether the course that the student wants to join will actually suit his or her future needs,” he said, explaining the process of assessing and guiding students who came to the event.
Exhibitors were also happy with the way the event shaped up and with the turnout over the two days. Karuna Ausman, International Marketing and Recruitment Specialist at University of Waterloo said the response to the event has been exceptional. “The response has been phenomenal. People have driven from Fujairah and Al Ain. I met students from Abu Dhabi who came specially to see us, which was fantastic. The quality of students has been great too and majority of them are going for September 2023, which is fantastic,” she said.
For Carole St.Larent, Associate Vice President, International at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, what added to the positive response was the fact that most of those who turned up had a genuine interest in choosing Canada for their higher studies. “The response has been very positive. We're seeing a lot of people that have a genuine interest in coming to Canada to study before they walk in there and they know already which institutions they want to talk to and what the institutions offer. So typically, someone who comes to our kiosk already knows that we probably offer the programme that they're looking for. So, for that, it's been quite positive,” she said.
Meanwhile, Vineet Bajaj, Regional Manager - South Asia & Mauritius, Algonquin College was impressed with the diversity of disciplines that the attendees were looking for. “Not only are we getting a good quality of students, but I also see a lot of diverse crowd here, because they're coming from very diverse disciplines. And fortunately, at our school in Ottawa, we do offer such diverse fields as well. So, we've got something to offer to each one of them. And this is a market that I see has been more focused towards countries like Australia and UK now we see a lot of interest being generated for Canada as well, which is a delight to watch.”
On why the prospect of higher education in Canada is becoming increasingly attractive to so many students and their families, this is what Manish Paitka had to say; “Firstly, Canada offers different kinds of educational programmes right from the schooling level to the undergraduate and the postgraduate levels, and even masters and doctorates. But the main attraction for students has always been the Canadian experience, and the chance to settle down in Canada through education. It also helps that they are paying less amount of fees as compared to other countries like the UK, the USA, or even Australia, and that a wider variety of programmes are offered by universities and community colleges.” Paitka also points to the fact that Canada offers three intakes in a year as an attraction, as this in effect is like a “rolling” admission process right through the year. “If they miss a semester, the students have a very good chance of finding the same course even after four months.
Endorsing these views was Varghese K., who visited the fair to shortlist options for his son, who is currently in Grade 11. “Canada has a good education system. It's one of the best places to explore when it comes to education, and promises a good future for the students, as there are good chances for the student to get permanent residence or even a passport and citizenship,” said Varghese.
WHAT VISITORS SAY
Indrapreet Kaur, Student
I've just recently graduated from a CBSE-based school. And I've been looking for a university to do my higher studies, specifically in Canada because I've heard a lot about how it's affordable, especially for undergraduate programmes. I heard about this education fair through my father, who saw it on the Gulf News website. At first I was a little bit sceptical, but we decided to visit anyway. And I have to say I'm really impressed. I definitely got what I was looking for. And it gave me a lot of clarification. I only thought I had one university that I could go for in all of Canada, but now I feel like there are so many more options for me to look into. At first I had to narrow them down and it was very difficult for me to do that. But now I feel like it's just so much better, I am looking forward to studying in Canada.
Junaid Siddiqui, Parent
I visited the Gulf News Study in Canada fair to choose a college for my son’s higher education. It was extremely helpful in making a choice, and we have selected Durham College. It was also quite helpful for us to to select the subject and hopefully we are going to start the process for January intake soon.