Facts and Figures
International Student Worldwide
- It is estimated that in 2014 the number of internationally mobile students surpassed the 5 million mark, and that by 2022 the number of internationally mobile students will reach 7 million1,2.
International Students in Canada
- Canada ranks as the world’s 7th most popular destination for international students.
- There were 336,497 international students in Canada in 2014, representing an 83% increase since 2008, and an increase of 10% over the previous year.
- International students made up 11% of the postsecondary student population in Canada in the 2012-2013 academic year.
Economic Impact of International Students in Canada
- Canada derives nearly $8B annually from international student expenditures including tuition and living expenses3.
- The presence of international students created over 81,000 jobs and generated over than $445M in government revenue (2010)4.
Top Sending Countries
- Students from China make up fully one-third (33%) of Canada’s international student population, followed by students from India (12%), South Korea (5.8%), France (5.7%) and Saudi Arabia (4%):
- Countries with the fastest growing number of international students in Canada (2013- 2014): Nigeria (+25%), Vietnam (+16%), Brazil (+15%), and France (+15%)
International students by Level of study
- Over half (58%) of all international students in Canada are studying at universities and 7% are pursuing a college education.
- Students studying at the primary, secondary or cégep (QC) level make up about 15% of the international student population in Canada.
International Students in Canada by Province and Territory
- Of the 336,497 international students in Canada, 86% are in Ontario, British Columbia or Québec.
The International Students’ Voice
- According to CBIE’s International Student Survey (2015), Engineering, business and the natural and social sciences are the top fields of study of international students in Canada.
- The top alternate study destinations considered by international students in Canada are the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
Pathways to Canadian Education
- According to CBIE’s International Student Survey (2015) 15% of post-secondary international students have previous experience pursuing studies in Canada. Of those, 8% begin their Canadian education experience at the secondary or primary level.
- Canada’s coordination in pathways programs for international students is not well developed compared with other global destination hubs. For example, in Australia, 80% of international students arrive at post-secondary education through well-defined pathways programs, compared with 30% of international students in Canada (Illuminate Consulting Group, 20155.
- 97% of Canadian universities offer education abroad programs6 and 82% of Canadian colleges and institutes offer education abroad7.
- Despite the documented personal and national benefits of education abroad, only 3.1% of full-time Canadian undergraduate university students8 and 1.1% of full-time college students9 have a credit or not-for-credit education abroad experience annually.
- Approximately 30% of German students10, 10% of US students11, 13% of Australians12 go abroad at some point during their degree.
- The top barrier to participation for Canadian students remains financial.
- In 2014, CBIE made a call for Canada to provide 50,000 education abroad awards by 2022 in order to overcome Canada’s critical international skills deficit.
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Source: CBIE, A World of Learning: Canada’s Performance and Potential in International Education 2015, unless otherwise noted: