07 March 2016

Changing immigration legislation and what it means for Canadian (and Anthropology) classrooms

The Canadian government is going to relax legislation in order to make it easier for international students to remain and become citizens in Canada. Immigration Minister John McCallum is quoted as saying:

“If there’s any group in this country who would be good Canadians – they’re educated, they know about this country, they speak English or French – it’s [international students]. So why punch them in the nose when we’re trying to attract them here in competition with Australia, the UK and others?”
This has me thinking - are our classrooms creating good 'Canadians'? Are lecturers equipped to fulfill this secondary goal of post-secondary education (PSE)?

I don't think we can assume that because socio-cultural Anthropologists teach about culture that they will automatically know how to handle the diversity of their students or that they will be uniquely suited to teach students how to 'be Canadian'. While Minister McCallum's thoughts may have very much to do with the amount of time international students spend in Canada in order to earn a degree, it provides an opportunity to think through those secondary goals of PSE that may not always come to the fore.