Canada has announced plans to limit the admission of foreign students for the next two years as a response to the increasing pressure on the country’s housing and healthcare systems, a move that will hit African students seeking education in the country.

This measure is expected to result in a 35 percent reduction in approved study permits. In 2022, the number of foreign students in Canada exceeded 800,000, marking a significant increase from 214,000 a decade earlier.

A lot of African students prefer Canada as their favourite destination for higher education given its flexibility in work-study balance.

The objective of the new measures is not only to address housing and healthcare challenges but also to maintain the “integrity” of the system, according to statements from government officials.

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller disclosed the cap on Monday, revealing the country’s goal of approving approximately 360,000 undergraduate study permits in the current year.

Under the new guidelines, each province and territory will receive a designated share of the total permits based on population and current student enrollment.

Provinces will then determine the distribution of these permits among their universities and colleges. The cap specifically applies to students enrolled in diploma or undergraduate programs and does not impact those seeking permit renewals.

In addition to the student cap, starting in September, the government will cease granting work permits to students graduating from colleges operating under a public-private partnership model, predominantly found in Ontario Province.

This cap represents a significant departure from Canada’s historical reliance on open immigration to fill job vacancies and address workforce challenges.

Additional reporting by BBC.