Cape Breton Post | September 6th, 2018
SYDNEY, N.S. — The federal government is providing more than $250,000 in grants over two years to New Dawn Enterprises for targeted activities to encourage the post-graduation settlement of international students.
Sydney-Victoria MP Mark Eyking and Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner made the announcement Thursday on behalf of Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
The grants will support the international student population at Cape Breton University in transitioning from students to working professionals through the provision of entrepreneurship-related training, networking, workshops and business skills development. Programming will include welcoming and orientation activities, a multicultural festival, graduation events for students and their families, and employment readiness workshops.
The project is intended to increase student awareness of permanent residency and immigration streams as well as provide cultural and social integration into the community and Cape Breton workforce.
“Education and innovation are key to growth and as a society, we are our best when we come together and share international perspectives. This investment will allow quality support services to continue to allow our students to thrive after graduation,” CBU president David Dingwall said in a news release.
“Amid significant population loss, the international students brought here by Cape Breton University are a great gift to our island,” said Sohaila Abdo, manager of the Cape Breton Island Centre for Immigration with New Dawn Enterprises Ltd. “Those who have stayed have made incredible contributions. Helping more graduates to stay, thrive, and put down roots is an indispensable part of the change, growth and diversity we need here.”
One full-time position and one part-time position were created as a result of this project. CBU has enrolled more than 1,400 international students in the 2018-2019 study year and draws more than one-third of its student population from outside of Canada. International students contribute $795 million a year to Atlantic Canada’s economy, $22 million annually in taxes and account for 6,731 jobs in the region
According to a 2017 study on graduate retention by the Association of Atlantic Universities, 75 per cent of international students surveyed said they would like to remain in Atlantic Canada after their studies and become Canadian citizens.
The grant was allocated through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund. The Province of Nova Scotia, through the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration, has also provided $99,998 in funding to New Dawn in 2018-19 in support of settlement services and programs for newcomers to the CBRM area.