North Island College's quality standards and award-winning education plan support international learners

International students are taken on a tour for Orientation Day in the summer before classes start.

At North Island College, international students are valued contributors to our learning environments and enrich the communities we serve.

The college provides a supportive, inclusive and quality education for its learners in light of potential changes to international student numbers.

“At North Island College, international students are integral and valued contributors to our learning environments. We are committed to offering a quality educational experience and have built our programs on a sustainable model that promotes learning success, while also meeting the needs of B.C.’s economy. Our goal is to always support our students and the communities we all call home,” said Kathleen Kuhnert, Vice President of Student and Community Engagement.

On Monday, the provincial government announced its response to a cap on international student permit applications. This followed last week’s federal announcement that will see a 35 percent reduction in approved study permits for the next two years.

NIC is currently working with the Ministry of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills to determine how reforms and new policies will inform future international student enrolment. The college’s award-winning international education plan, Journeying Together, is already aligned with the measures announced Jan. 29.

The college also has extensive student supports and transparent tuition practices to help international learners understand the costs of studying and living in Canada before they arrive.

At present, there are 768 international students studying at NIC across our Comox Valley, Campbell River and Port Alberni campuses. For this academic year, they represent 13 per cent of enrolment, which is among the lowest proportion for any public post-secondary institution in the province.

In welcoming students from 46 countries, including India, Zimbabwe and the Philippines, NIC adheres to a diligent pre-arrival orientation program to ensure quality education for all learners.

NIC is also building student housing at the Comox Valley campus and has taken short-term steps to help with immediate needs, such as partnering with programs like Places4Students to match our learners with homeowners.

International students have become an integral part of campus life for NIC, as well as the communities in which they live.

“Understanding the need to ensure responsible oversight of our post-secondary education system, it remains a fact that strong international student enrolment at NIC supports economic growth in the City of Campbell River. International students with knowledge and skills for in demand employment in our region are important contributors to our community and to our goals for our region’s future,” said Mayor Kermit Dahl of Campbell River.

In addition to enriching our communities, international students also help meet the needs of British Columbia’s economy.

“Each fall, I really look forward to meeting the new international students studying at NIC. Their passion and their drive are inspiring, and I know that they are strong contributors to our local economy and communities,” said Mayor Bob Wells of Courtenay.

As a public post-secondary institution, NIC’s goal is to build healthy and thriving communities, one student at a time.

For more information about NIC’s international education, see