by Barbara Black
Concordia has traditionally had about one-tenth the number of international
students as its neighbour, McGill University, but that is changing.
The numbers have more than doubled over the past decade, from 887 in 1989-90
to 1,740 in 2000-01. There was actually a dip in the mid-1990s, but in
the past three years especially, more international students have been
Some of these are exchange students. Quebec institutions are especially
popular with students from France because of reciprocal tuition arrangements
and because it enables French students to learn English in a friendly
While the number of students from the Caribbean and Asia have stayed about
the same over the decade, they have more than tripled from Europe and
the Middle East, almost tripled from the Americas, and more than doubled
Not represented in the figures, however, are the older students from Asia,
particularly India and China, who get landed immigrant status in the course
of their time here, often in advanced studies.
Professor Balbir Sahni, director of Concordias Centre for International
Academic Co-operation, said that the increase international students at
Concordia is indeed a welcome development, made possible by concerted
efforts by all Faculties and the School of Graduate Studies.
There is no question that this increase calls for [more] academic
support, Dr. Sahni continued. Unlike many other players in
the market, I always reiterate our notion of internationalization as promoting
a two-way flow of students and scholars.
Concordias ultimate objective is to enrich the internationalization
of our own community of students and scholars, rather than simply raising
revenue from international students recruitment. This message is inherently
sound and genuineand invariably well received.