The linked article references Canada's ongoing problem in attracting and retaining foreign students and refers to the mismatch of policies which will result in hardship to both universities and our economy going forward:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ottawas-resource-gap-leaves-international-students-waiting-for-visas/article24715563/There are many stakeholders with an interest in allowing a smooth transition for foreign students to permanent residency:
Canadian post secondary institutions have an obvious interest in attracting foreign students. On the one hand these students are often highly intelligent, ambitious young people who may be in a position to innovate and be a resource for providing dynamic ideas that could benefit the academic institutions prestige and the Canadian economy in general. A more practical interest is that foreign students pay much higher fees for enrolment than Canadians and their fees are used to defray costs to Canadian students, fund research and development and pay for and retain competent faculty.
Foreign students have in interest in accessing the high level of post secondary education and training in Canada. In many cases they are also prospective immigrants who wish to integrate fully into Canadian society and build their lives here while taking advantage of the opportunities available.
Employers have an interest in recruiting and retaining highly educated and highly skilled workers. They also have a long term interest in having a stable and reliable pool of workers to recruit from and hire.
The country has a national interest in ensuring we are able to attract the best and brightest in the world to Canada, especially given the fact that other affluent countries are incentivizing study and immigration for this same pool of individuals.
With all these interests at stake, one would think the government would prioritize and facilitate the entry of these individuals for the above reasons. In fact, this same government previously issued the following statement when they introduced the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) several years ago:
We would note that the new policies of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, as exemplified by the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), place a premium on identifying individuals, who have Canadian education and high-skilled work experience, for permanent settlement in Canada. The Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) states that,
"The CEC aims to facilitate the transition from temporary to permanent residence for certain temporary foreign workers and foreign students, thus helping to attract and retain qualified workers [...] This new class will contribute to overall labour force growth by bringing in the talent that Canadian employers and communities need. Several positive qualitative and quantitative impacts are expected, particularly in terms of improved business competitiveness, reduced immigrant integration and settlement costs, and streamlined case processing and client service."
In terms of positive impacts, the RIAS states that
"Applicants under CEC will require fewer settlement services than current immigrants as they will have been in Canada for a minimum of three years and that they will be proficient in English or French. They can apply and be admitted to Canada without leaving the country. Applicants under CEC will have Canadian credentials, which in turn will alleviate the issue of foreign credential recognition. Furthermore, temporary foreign workers applying under CEC will only be assessed on their Canadian work experience.
Positive impacts on productivity and competitiveness of business (long term) include the following: labour market should face fewer shortage, more workforce remaining in Canada and thus, no need to re-train, and higher productivity as CEC workers will already be skilled in the sector and proficient in an official language."
All of the above stated considerations still apply, yet what has the government done? They have closed off the Canadian Experience Class and put it under the weighted lottery Express Entry system. Most foreign students, who obtain post graduate work permits after completion of studies, will not obtain enough points for selection because, even if they have full time jobs in skilled positions, these jobs and offers were not made pursuant to Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA) from Service Canada. The reality is one of the main selling points to employers when they hire foreign students on work permits is that they do not have the go through the onerous, opaque LMIA process.
In any event, there was previously an exemption to the advertising requirement for Labour Market Opinions for employers offering full time jobs to post graduate workers for skilled positions. Yet this exemption was rescinded along with the other broad sweeping changes to the LMIA process made in July 2014.
Accordingly, the result is that post graduate students only recourse to immigration is through provincial nominee programs, some of which are subject to lengthy processing times which may or may not result in these individual's status expiring prior to being able to apply for permanent residence or renew their work permits.
Who loses with this lack of coordination of processes and policies? Universities lose because students will increasingly bypass Canada for educational opportunities in countries with sane and rational rules for obtaining immigration. This will result in further budget problems for universities and the offloading of these costs to Canadians. The students lose as despite coming to Canada believing that there are routes to immigration, they instead find themselves in the situation of migrant workers looking for another home once their status in Canada expires. Businesses lose a pool of young, highly educated, language proficient employees from which to hire from with resulting losses in productivity. Canada loses to other countries, who better positioned to meet the needs of these students and therefore take advantage of their skills to service their citizens and their economies.
Yet another example of ad hoc politics and changes above rational policies where everyone loses.