The PCPP Programme and Why Ontario Revoked the Admission

Letters of 500 International Students 

Ontario’s Northern College and its private affiliate, Pures College, under the PCPP programme, recently landed in hot waters and had to revoke the Admission Letters of over 500 Students hailing from different parts of the world, including India. 

What is a Public College-private partnership programme (PCPP)? 

A PCPP is a contractual agreement between a Public college and a private party to deliver college programs leading to a College Credential. The agreement allows the Public college to enrol more international students through its private affiliates, who pay a fee for the partnership. 

The guiding principles as stated by the PCPP: Minister’s Binding Policy Directive are: 

  • Support the delivery of a high-quality international student experience and enhance opportunities for academic success 
  • Support public colleges to be financially competitive 
  • Strengthen communities by supporting International students in Ontario institutions and potentially help them remain and contribute after their studies. 
  • Protect and enhance Ontario’s reputation as a leader in Post-secondary education for employment and residence. 

Why were Admission Letters revoked for 500 International students? 

The Admission Letters were withdrawn by Northern College, a public college in Ontario, after the number of arriving International students exceeded their program’s capacity. 

Speaking to CBC News, one affected student recounted the unfortunate experience. 

The victim had already paid her registration fees and received her acceptance letter to Pures College of Technology, an affiliate of Northern College, in February. She had since quit her previous job in India, applied for a Canadian study permit, and invested in a place to stay in Toronto and a one-way flight ticket in anticipation of her upcoming journey, only to be informed that her admission offer had been revoked. 

She’s in the same boat with over 500 other international students who could lose their study permits and are left with no choice but to wait for answers from Colleges and authorities halfway across the world.  

The issue resulted from a common practice where Canadian Schools hand out acceptance letters over their program’s capacity- the logic being that some applicants will have their visas denied.  

Thus, the school was overwhelmed when the IRCC approved more visas for international students than initially expected. 

Ontario’s recent cap for International student enrolments in PCPP programmes 

Starting September 2023, Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges will implement a new policy directing colleges operating the PCPP programmes to enroll no more than 7,500 international students across all public and private campuses. 

Consequently, colleges that exceed the limit will have their operating grant reduced by $ 5,295 for each student enrolled over the limit. 

Reasons for cap placed on PCPP programmes 

The limits were imposed after a review of the PCPP programme by the Office of the Auditor General discovered that: 

  • Several Ontario colleges were exceeding limits placed on International enrolment 
  • The colleges were not held responsible for this breach of policy 
  • The ministry’s oversight on the matter was lacking 

What’s next for the Students whose Admission Letters were revoked? 

Pures College, the private affiliate in this ordeal, was quick to issue a statement saying that their hands were tied on the matter and that they could not change the decision since Northern College has sole authority over the admission processes. 

Luckily, Centennial College, a Toronto-based public college, has stepped up to accept many of the now stranded students as long as they can meet their own admission requirements for their programmes starting September 2023. 

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou is a content writer with SettleCanada. He is a Political Sciences graduate and a keen follower of international affairs and contemporary history. He has a background in publishing and regularly dabbles in writing and game development projects. Janggoulal currently writes on issues related to Canadian Immigration.