Students in Gujarat anxious about winter intake at Canadian varsities

  • | Friday | 22nd September, 2023

AHMEDABAD: Rudra Trivedi (name changed), a student from Ahmedabad who plans to pursue a course in information technology in Toronto, Canada, has deferred his admission from December-January to the next cycle. "The fee payment window is closing soon, but I decided to give it a miss. The current scenario is not very conducive. We have seen how Indian medical students in Ukraine were affected after Russia launched a military assault.Read AlsoDont pack bags yet, plan session for next fall: Canada universities to studentsRepresentatives of Canadian universities have warned that the ongoing political tension between Canada and India may result in visa delays for Indian students, potentially disrupting the spring academic session scheduled to begin in January.Of course, both scenarios are different, but I am prepared to wait for six months," he said.Also See: India Canada News LiveWith more than 10,000 students from Gujarat heading to Canada every year, the ongoing row between India and Canada has put the community on the edge. While there are more cases like Trivedis, since the September intake has concluded, all eyes are now on the next admission cycle. "There is a lot of apprehension and confusion among Indian students regarding the recent diplomatic strain between India and Canada, but it is less likely to impact them. The fall intake admissions are already over in Canadian universities and students have settled into comfortable routines. The next round of intake will be in December-January. By then, one hopes that the situation will get better," said Bhavin Thaker, an Ahmedabad-based foreign education consultant. An engineering student from Gujarat in Toronto told TOI, "As of now, there is no problem, and the decisions will not affect the students immediately. But if Canada changes visa rules, it can have implications. Students have been organizing informal meetings to comprehend the impact of the diplomatic tension on travel and stay, and are hoping for a quick resolution to the issue," said the student. Hemant M Shah, a businessman from Winnipeg and an office-bearer of Overseas Friends of India Canada (OFIC), said the row is affecting Canadian brands in India. "We have been trying to gauge the impact the row will have on Indian and Canadian businesses. The much-awaited trade agreement could not be fructified, and now the countries are at loggerheads," he said, adding that any move from either of the countries will affect thousands of Indian students. The members of the Hindu community in Canada have taken a strong objection to the statement made by New York-based secessionist Sikh leader Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, who asked them to leave the country. Naresh Chavda, president of the Canadian Hindu Chamber of Commerce, said that they have been taking social, legal and political measures following Pannuns warning. "There cannot be an atmosphere of fear for any community, and we are concerned about such statements," he said.

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