University president reassures Indian students amid diplomatic tensions

The president and vice-chancellor of Thompson Rivers University in Canada said the country remains a “safe and welcoming place” despite the diplomatic crisis between Canada and India.

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University president reassures Indian students amid diplomatic tensions
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In the midst of strained diplomatic relations between Canada and India, the president of Thompson Rivers University, Brett Fairbairn, has reassured international students from India that support is available and emphasized that Canada remains a safe and welcoming place for them.

Fairbairn’s message was conveyed in a report set to be presented to the university’s board this week, which highlighted that TRU World is actively monitoring the evolving diplomatic situation between Canada and India.

The report stated: “During this difficult time, we are communicating with our students, reassuring them that Canada is a safe and welcoming place.”

International student demographics
Fairbairn stressed that students from India are encouraged to reach out to student advisors for any necessary assistance. The report underscored that 44 percent of TRU’s international students are from India, with the next highest representation being 11 percent from Nigeria.

Despite a slight decrease in domestic registrations, the university noted that the international student demographic, particularly from India, continues to grow.

Enrollment trends
Despite an overall decrease in applications and admissions, the university reported a substantial 23 percent increase in international enrollment and a 24 percent increase in course registrations compared to the previous year.

To manage the increased international enrollment, TRU closed applications early for specific programs, such as the post-baccalaureate business program, bachelor of computing science, and graduate certificate in educational studies. This step aimed to maintain the international student headcount at the university’s targeted goal of 4,000 students, and currently, there are 4,663 registered international students.

Diplomatic actions
The diplomatic tensions between Canada and India have escalated since September 21 when the Indian visa processing center in Canada was temporarily suspended. This move followed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mention of “credible allegations” of Indian involvement in the assassination of Sikh independence activist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in a Vancouver suburb in June.

Consequently, both countries took diplomatic actions, leading to the expulsion of a diplomat from each country. India vehemently refuted the allegations as “absurd.”

In a separate incident, a Sikh high school student in Kelowna, British Columbia, was pepper-sprayed by an assailant following an altercation on a bus, according to local police. This incident marked the second act of violence against a Sikh youth on public transit in the city this year.

Nathan Yasis

Nathan Yasis

Nathan studied information technology and secondary education in college. He dabbled in and taught creative writing and research to high school students for three years before settling in as a digital journalist.

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Nathan Yasis

Nathan Yasis

Nathan studied information technology and secondary education in college. He dabbled in and taught creative writing and research to high school students for three years before settling in as a digital journalist.

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