According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), there were more than 490,000 international students in Canada by the end of 2017. Based on data from the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), this number represents a 20% surge over 2016, or an astounding 120% increase between 2010 and 2017. Even better, the figure surpasses the Canadian government’s goal of welcoming 450,000 international students by 2022.
This growth is spurred mostly by China and India, which contribute 28% and 25% of international students, respectively. In addition, Canada’s fastest growing sending markets are from the Asian as well as Latin American regions; it includes Vietnam, Iran, Bangladesh, Brazil and Mexico. Student enrollments from these countries have been increasing steadily over the years.
QS Market Insights has been closely monitoring Canada’s dynamic international student story, saying Canada is well-positioned to replace the U.K. as the second most popular international student destination. QS spokesperson Jack Moran attributes factors such as relatively lower fees, high quality of student experience, and the global perception of Canada’s commitment to a liberal immigration policy as the drivers of student mobility patterns favouring the country.