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国际留学生是加国经济的财富?
International students may not be a boon to Canadian economy as proclaimed

有研究称加国的学校、经济和税收越来越得益于中国为最大来源国的国际留学生。自从联邦自由党政府上台执政后,就一直积极招揽国际留学生,并宣称他们是国家的宝贵财富,对加拿大意义重大。批评快速通道计划不利国际留学生的自由党政府目前正在考虑为国际留学生清扫移民道路上的障碍,让他们更容易获得加拿大永久居民身份。

There are studies saying that international students – with China being the top sourced country -- are increasingly becoming a boon to our schools, our economy and tax base. Since the Liberal government came into power, it has been aggressively courting international students, proclaiming they are the assets to the country and extremely valuable to Canada. The Liberal government, which criticized the express entry system for shortchanging international students, is looking at easing the path for internationals students to become permanent residents in Canada. 

联邦移民部长麦加廉(John McCallum)在今年年初就曾表示:“我们必须采取更多措施吸引留学生申请加拿大永久居民,因为他们都是精英人才,是最有潜力的移民人选。”

“We must do more to attract students to this country as permanent residents,” John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration Canada said early this year. “They are the cream of the crop, in terms of potential future Canadians.”

的确,由于国际留学生需要支付高昂的学费、住宿费和生活费,他们为加拿大经济作出了重要贡献,不仅支撑了大量就业岗位,亦促进了税收增长。但是国际留学生所创造的经济价值可能被严重夸大。实际上,一些研究、媒体报道以及轶事证据显示,国际留学生在加国身处低谷和困境。 他们在大学中成绩不佳,在就业职场也面临困境和挑战。

Indeed, with their large expenditure on tuition fees, accommodations and lifestyle costs, international students have contributed significantly to the Canadian economy that can support jobs and generate taxes. But their value to our economy might be over exaggerated. In fact, other studies, media reports and anecdotal evidence have painted a grim picture of this demographic in Canada that are struggling academically in schools and facing challenges in the labour markets.
 
有研究指出,语言障碍是国际留学生面临的最大学业挑战。由于缺乏英语技能,许多来自中国的留学生难以达到加拿大大学的学业标准。据媒体报道,里贾纳大学的一名英文教授曾向CBC表示,该校招收的许多留学生英语水平不佳,有些人因为语言理解能力差而都听不懂课堂讨论的内容。

Studies point out that language fluency is the largest academic challenge affecting international students. Lacking English language skills, many international students from China are struggling to meet the academic requirements at Canadian universities. According to a media report, an English professor at the University of Regina told CBC that students are being admitted with poor English proficiency, with some even lacking verbal comprehension skills to understand classroom discussion. 

此外,英语写作能力不足也导致国际留学生无法在课程论文或考试答案中清楚地表达复杂而又逻辑缜密的论点。我有一位曾经为安省一所商学院批改过试卷的朋友称,国际留学生通常都无法像提供与本土学生同等质量的答案,在答案的准确度和专业度上都略差一筹,使他们的成绩远远落后于加拿大学生。

The deficiency in English writing skills also prevents them from presenting complex and logically sophisticated arguments in course essays or exam papers.  A friend of mine who has marked the exam papers for a business school in Ontario said that international students in general were unable to answer the exam questions with the same level of quality, accuracy and proficiency as the local students, leaving them faring much worse in grades than their Canadian counterparts. 

尽管在加拿大求学的大多数国际留学生都能顺利毕业,但其中有许多人并没有从加拿大的学校里学到有相当价值的专业技能,从而未能充分受益于加拿大的教育系统。《麦克林》杂志的一篇文章曾不无担忧地指出,如果加拿大有大量国际留学生不能熟练掌握英语,最终将会影响加拿大的教育质量,导致课程标准降低且毕业生文凭质量下降。文章称“加拿大高品质大学的声誉将会受损,我们会因此错失国际留学生带来的文化和经济收益。”

Even though most of them have graduated from Canadian schools, many international students have gained relatively fewer valuable skills from the Canadian schools and have not benefited as much from the Canadian education system. A MacLean’s article has expressed the concern that if a large number of international students in Canada cannot conduct themselves well enough in English, it will eventually affect the quality of Canadian education, resulting in falling course standards and lower-quality degrees for graduates. “Canada’s reputation for high-quality universities would suffer and we would miss out on the culture and economic rewards international students bring.”

此外,国际留学生在毕业后通常也会面对黯淡的就业前景。加拿大移民部(CIC)的一份内部报告显示,在2008至2014年间,大多数通过毕业工签计划就业的国际留学生都在从事服务行业的低技能工作,他们的收入中值还不到其他高校近期毕业生的一半。而随着有关国际毕业生缺乏必要职业技能或无法履行工作职能的传闻不断浮现,轶事证据也支持这些调查结果。

International students also face a bleak job prospect after graduation. An internal report from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has found that from 2008 to 2014, the majority of international students employed through a work permit program were in low-skilled jobs in the service sector, and had median earnings that are less than half of other recent university and college graduates. Anecdotal evidence also supports these findings, as stories circulating international students lacking required job skills or failing to fulfill job functions have started surfacing. 

很显然,虽然自由党政府一直宣称国际留学生是加拿大经济的财富,但事实可能并非如此。而加拿大移民部的秘密报告所提供的证据与移民部长的说法自相矛盾,亦不禁让人对其旨在吸引更多国际留学生,并设法让他们更容易获得加拿大永久居民身份的计划心生疑虑和担忧。

Apparently, international students may not be as valuable to the Canadian economy as the Liberal government proclaims. The CIC secret report might have provided evidence that contradicts the Immigration Minister’s claim, raising concerns about its plans to attract more international students and ease the path for them to obtain Canadian citizenship.  
 
 
 
 

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