Helping International Students Avoid a Farewell to Nova Scotia

Government of Canada Supports Project to Retain Highly-skilled Graduates of Nova Scotia Universities

October 15, 2016 – Cornwallis, N.S. – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova, spoke earlier today with a group of 50 international students at the program launch of Stay in Nova Scotia. During this event, MP Fraser announced a $288,813 contribution to EduNova Co-operative Limited through ACOA’s Business Development Program to help the organization in its efforts to promote Nova Scotia’s education and training sector around the world. MP Fraser made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The Government of Nova Scotia is also supporting the project with a $288,812 contribution.

The Stay in Nova Scotia – Student Retention to Residency pilot will provide targeted services to graduating international university students with the goal of encouraging them to live and work in Nova Scotia post-graduation. The combined government investments will support the addition of a program coordinator and the introduction of a customized voucher program to help subsidize graduate salaries for participating companies over a four month period, providing participants with long-term job prospects upon completion of the program. It will also provide small- and medium-sized businesses with access to new talent to help them innovate and grow.

This pilot targets 50 international students beginning their final year of study at Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions (entering 4th year of university or 2nd year at NSCC) in fall 2016 with a goal of retaining 40 graduates for at least one-year post-graduation. Selected participants represent 23 nationalities, with most studying in fields linked to Nova Scotia’s predicted labour market needs, such as health care, entrepreneurship, computer engineering and ocean sciences. The expectation is that many of them will transition to permanent residency in Canada within five years, and remain in Nova Scotia.

This project builds on the federal and provincial governments’ commitment to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada, as outlined in the recently released Atlantic Growth Strategy.


“The Government of Canada understands that immigration is fundamental to building strong communities and improving the region’s ability to compete in the global market. International students who stay in the province play a significant role in meeting skill shortages, fueling economic development and improving Nova Scotia’s prospects.”

     – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Immigrant attraction and retention remain key goals of the Government of Canada. The importation of cutting-edge skills leads to entrepreneurial innovations that generate new business, opportunity, and subsequent corporate productivity. We will continue to work with the provincial government and EduNova to promote Nova Scotia as a destination of choice in attracting and retaining newcomers, including foreign students.”

     – Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova

“Helping international students stay in Nova Scotia will strengthen our province. ‎We want more young people to choose Nova Scotia as a place to live and work after they graduate. This initiative will help make that happen.”

     – Premier Stephen McNeil

“Nova Scotia’s international education sector has the potential to address many of our province’s goals as outlined in the OneNS report. The sector already brings almost $1 billion in export revenues each year to Nova Scotia. International students also bring business and cultural connections to global markets, entrepreneurial spirit, and if they stay, provide part of the solution to Nova Scotia’s daunting demographic challenges. With the support of Federal and Provincial governments, EduNova is honoured to make a material difference in the lives of 50 potential new Nova Scotians through the Stay in Nova Scotia program.”

     –  Wendy Luther, President and CEO of EduNova

Associated Links


Alex Smith
Director of Communications and Outreach
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Phone: 902-426-9417 / 902-830-3839 (cell)

Lisa Jarrett
Government of Nova Scotia
Phone: 902-717-4199 (cell)

Wendy Luther
President and CEO
Phone: 902-424-4058


EduNova Co-operative Limited (EduNova) is a non-profit industry association based in Nova Scotia. Its mandate is to coordinate international marketing efforts of Nova Scotia’s education and training sector. EduNova is a membership-driven organization with membership of all 10 universities in Nova Scotia, the 13-campus Nova Scotia Community College, seven English school boards through the Nova Scotia International Student Program (K-12), and several private language and K-12 schools.

EduNova plays a coordinating role in matching the wealth of education, education management, and training expertise found in Nova Scotia with the specific needs of international partners seeking such expertise. It has over 10 years of experience in organizing and managing provincial and federal trade missions, recruitment trips, familiarization tours, agent/counsellor events, and other student attraction and retention initiatives and activities. 

EduNova has an office in Halifax and is the only provincial education and training co-operative in Canada. 

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