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International Student Enrolment Continues to Rise in Canada

Maple syrup, hockey, merciless winters, and Céline Dion – these are but a handful of the many aspects that define Canada and its inhabitants. However, over the last few years, the country has added something else to its national identity; a reputation for offering an international education that is second-to-none.

Recently, Canada’s international education sector has experienced an unprecedented surge. According to Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada, there were over 572,000 international students in the country in 2018. While this figure is certainly impressive by any standard, it acquires an even greater significance when drawing comparisons to the 122,665 valid study permits that were present in Canada in 2000. This rise in international students represents an increase of 467 per cent, further affirming that, when it comes to international education, Canada is an unexpected but refreshing success story.

This surge in international students is affecting learning institutions across the country. Nine years ago, the international student body at Thunder Bay’s Lakehead University barely exceeded 150 students. Today, international students make up 20 per cent of the institution’s total enrolment. Elsewhere, the University of British Columbia boasts over 16,000 international students, which represents a quarter of its total enrolment. Finally, it is worth noting that international students constitute 70 per cent of the graduate enrolment of the University of Windsor. Overall, the rise of international students in Canada can be felt everywhere; from the universities of Vancouver, to the CEGEPs of Montreal, to the secondary schools of Nova Scotia.

It is estimated that the country’s immigration policy significantly contributes to the high number of students who opt to study abroad in Canada. This policy speeds up visa processing procedures and allows international students to work during and after their studies. Furthermore, Canada’s immigration policy opens the door to permanent residency which, according to a 2018 CBIE survey, 60 per cent of international students plan to seek. Other incentive factors include the country’s reputation for safety, its comparatively low tuition rates, and its quality education.

This rise in international student enrolment at Canadian learning institutions has major implications for Canada’s economy, job market, and foreign relations. In smaller communities, the international education sector represents a colossal source of revenue. For example, Cape Breton University’s 2,700 international students have contributed approximately $60 million a year to the local economy of Sydney, Nova Scotia. In 2016, the sector provided a whopping $15.5 billion to the Canadian economy. This number includes everything from tuition fees to groceries. International education in Canada also supported nearly 170,000 jobs in 2016. Regardless, the surge in international education further promotes Canada’s prestige for inclusivity, diversity, and educational excellence.

Notably, these trends show no signs of stopping, as Canada’s international education sector is still expanding. In fact, the federal government has already pledged $148 million over the next five years to implement a new international education strategy that will expand Canada’s presence overseas and further reinforce the country’s image as a prime education destination. This plan will also involve seeking students from countries with a growing demand for higher education.

In short, the Canadian government is doubling down on its efforts to assert Canada’s growing reputation as a hotspot for international students, which means that there has never been a better time to study in the country! For all your international education needs – from recruitment to admission – look no further than Rising Phoenix International!


· University Affairs: https://bit.ly/309dQ7I

· Government of Canada Federal Report: https://bit.ly/2vO07VH

· City News: https://bit.ly/2HeCw7n

· Canadian Bureau for International Education: https://bit.ly/2N2TMM8

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