Thought Leadership

Recent Blog Posts

Strategic solutions, not barriers: crafting policies for Canada’s future beyond student caps

Last month, the Canadian government made a significant announcement regarding the introduction of an international..

The influence of Third Culture Kids in Canada

Canada's reputation for multiculturalism has reached new heights with record-breaking immigration rates..

369 Global’s priorities for 2024

2024 will be a year of opportunity and our organisation is ready..

Podcasts

Newcomers come to Canada for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is to learn. When they do come to learning institutions they also teach along the way. That’s what our guest, Muraly Srinarayanathas, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of ⁠⁠369 Global⁠⁠ and Michael Sangster, CEO of the National Association of Career Colleges get into on this episode of EdUp Canada.

 

In this episode of The Boiling Point, hosts Emily Rodger and Dave Veale sit down with Muraly Srinarayanathas, the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of 369 Global. The discussion traverses Muraly’s journey as a serial entrepreneur and the core ethos of his ventures, with a specific emphasis on catering to a demographic of 35 to 45-year-olds, predominantly women. He draws inspiration from Dr. Muhammad Yunus, a renowned Bangladeshi economist and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, highlighting the impactful time he spent working alongside Dr. Yunus.

In this episode of Maestros in the Making, I had an interesting conversation with Gina El Kattan, a co-founder of Nuba Tisane. She opened up about her story of immigrating to Canada with her family from Egypt and co-founding a company with her mother.

 

 

Blog

Last month, the Canadian government made a significant announcement regarding the introduction of an international student visa cap. This decision stems from the sharp rise in international student enrollment, reaching a record high of 900,000 in 2023, which they believe contributes to the strain on essential services like housing and healthcare. Additionally, the government aims to safeguard international students from institutions offering substandard education while charging high fees.

Undoubtedly, being ill-prepared for rapid population growth has strained various aspects of society. The government failed to establish structural frameworks and policies to manage population growth effectively. I find the government’s decision to cap international student numbers regrettable. Blaming international students sidesteps addressing our nation’s more profound socio-economic challenges and may have severe long-term repercussions on our economy.

A key issue is the government’s insufficient investment in education. In Ontario, the freeze on domestic tuition fees has exacerbated financial pressures on educational institutions grappling with rising costs due to inflation. While some public institutions have seen significant revenue growth from increased international student enrollment, prestigious universities, like Queen’s University, now face potential deficits. Relying on international students, who often pay up to five times more tuition than domestic students and contribute to approximately 68 per cent of revenue at most schools, is not sustainable in the long run.

The government must prioritise adequate funding and regulations for post-secondary institutions to ensure high-quality education. Rather than unfairly targeting international students and regulated private career colleges, they should instead collaborate with institutions to establish effective regulatory frameworks and funding mechanisms that bolster the strength and reputation of our post-secondary education system.

It is paramount for Canada to continue attracting intelligent, talented, and ambitious students who are capable of becoming emerging leaders and contributing positively to our society. We are fortunate to boast world-class post-secondary institutions, including regulated career colleges. Canada should focus on recruiting students based on critical labour shortages and offer incentives to remain in the workforce post-graduation. This proactive approach is vital for addressing Canada’s labour needs.

The current policy stance of the government represents a regression, diverging from the strategic trajectory necessary for our country’s advancement. International students are critical to acknowledging and addressing the critical labour shortages that are aiding our greater societal issues and policy shortcomings, and they are vital for our need for global talent to garner the necessary innovation and talent to propel our economy.

Instead of scapegoating international students, we should prioritise crafting policies that bolster investments in our post-secondary institutions, target recruiting international students in sectors facing labour shortages, ensure equitable job opportunities, and foster innovation. We can harness their potential to drive societal growth and contribute to Canada’s prosperity by cultivating an environment that attracts and retains talented and motivated individuals.

Canada’s reputation for multiculturalism has reached new heights with record-breaking immigration rates in recent years. The evolving demographic, shaped by people from diverse countries and cultures, is giving rise to a unique group known as ‘Third Culture Kids’ (TCKs), a term coined by American sociologist-anthropologist Dr. Ruth Hill Useem in the 1950s and famously associated with former U.S. President, Barack Obama. I, too, personally identify with this term, having experienced the profound impact of being raised in a culture different from that of my parents and navigating a mosaic of cultural influences during my formative years.

While multiculturalism has long been a hallmark of Canada, the surge in immigration is expected to elevate the number of individuals who resonate with the label of third culture kid. Projections suggest that racialized communities in Canada will comprise over 50 per cent of the population by 2050, emphasising the growing significance of understanding and appreciating the experiences and perspectives of TCKs and the benefits they can bring to Canadian society.

But what does it truly mean to be a third culture kid, and what value does this identity bring? We are commonly referred to as individuals who, often from an early age, have been immersed in various cultural environments and countries, usually growing up in a culture or society different from our parents, having to adapt to the influences of our parents while simultaneously acclimating to the societies in which we are raised. Childhood, for us TCKs, can be marked by a sense of confusion and feeling ‘different’ as we are constantly navigating varied cultures and customs. However, being raised as a TCK can have many benefits.

One of the significant advantages of being a third culture kid is the early exposure to many cultures, which often shapes our worldview and can even influence the trajectory of our lives. We find ourselves balancing the nuances of different traditions, languages, and social norms. This often nurtures a sense of open-mindedness and curiosity. We approach new experiences with a genuine interest in understanding and learning from the perspectives of others. This curiosity drives continuous personal and intellectual growth, propelling us to seek opportunities that expand our cultural horizons. This fluidity we’ve developed in understanding and respecting diverse cultural perspectives sets the stage for our unique skills, a driving force for our personal and professional lives.

I was born in London to Sri Lankan parents. My upbringing involved living in London, Sri Lanka, and India and eventually settling in Canada at the age of seven. Post-university, I was fortunate to embark on a 12-year journey, living and working between Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, France, and England, before returning to Canada and making Toronto my permanent home in 2012. Immersing myself in such diverse cultures and countries has proven invaluable in navigating the intricacies of multiple societies and the increasingly globalised business environment.

The ability to seamlessly accustom ourselves to different cultural contexts is a skill many third culture kids carry into adulthood. For me, this adaptability has been a key asset in my professional journey, allowing me to thrive in diverse work environments and connect with colleagues and clients from around the globe. Our heightened cultural sensitivity enables us to seamlessly navigate social landscapes, embracing diversity as a natural aspect of our daily interactions, making us adept communicators and collaborators in an increasingly interconnected world.

As Canada continues to evolve into a multicultural powerhouse, the growth of third culture kids and the experiences they bring will become increasingly relevant and a significant asset for our society. Many newcomer children will have been immersed in at least two cultures, and second-generation Canadians often navigate between their parents’ culture and Canadian society. Our cultural adaptability, global perspectives, and effective cross-cultural communication will contribute significantly to the social and professional landscape of the country. Understanding and celebrating the unique journey of third culture kids is not just an acknowledgment of our diverse backgrounds but an investment in the richness of Canada’s collective identity.

2024 will be a year of opportunity and our organisation is ready to scale and embrace rapid transformation with bold goals!

Global dynamics are shifting with economic turbulence, the rise of Asia and emerging economies, climate change and evolving migration patterns. All of these factors highlight the need for adaptable, inclusive solutions on a global scale.

We are seeing growing tensions between local and global, with rising nationalism and populism worldwide.

Learning and work are evolving. Degrees aren’t the only path. Diverse skills and approaches are gaining ground and shaping new opportunities with the rise of technology, including AI.

Canada is welcoming 1 million new permanent residents from across the globe, by 2026, they will come for, and expect, better opportunities.

All of these factors have contributed to the refinement of our vision and key priorities.

To deliver on our vision, our focuses this year are:

Domestic training programs: Offer high-value micro-credential programs through Computek College to accelerate talent placement and help fill the key roles our economy needs today.

Skills training, workforce development and embracing global talent are all integral to this.

International training programs: Increase our fair tuition international training programs through a new and innovative learn-to-earn education model.

Social impact: Support more causes that deliver on our vision through the Srinarayanathas Foundation, a charitable foundation with a hundred-year legacy that provides holistic, sustainable support to organisations focused on improving outcomes for underrepresented communities at home and abroad.

We look forward to sharing updates throughout the year as we contribute to job creation, local and global change.