A- A A+

Facts and Figures

Canada’s Performance and Potential in International Education 2015

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

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%):

International Students in Canada

  • 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

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

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

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.

 

The International Students’ Voice

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.
Education Abroad
  • 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.
Customized Research Services
  • CBIE conducts research on a range of international education topics and offers customized data reports and analysis services. For additional information and rates, please contact research-recherche@cbie.ca

Source: CBIE, A World of Learning: Canada’s Performance and Potential in International Education 2015, unless otherwise noted:

1 OECD, Education at a glance 2014
2 ICEF Monitor, Summing up international student mobility in 2014
3, 4 Roslyn Kunin and Associates Inc., Economic impact of international education in Canada – Final report: An update, 2012
5 Illuminate Consulting Group, International Students Pathways in Canada, 2015
6, 8 Universities Canada, Canada’s Universities in the World: AUCC Internationalization Survey, 2014
7, 9 CICan, Internationalizing Canadian Colleges and Institutes: The First National Report on International Education and Mobility, 2010
10 Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy, International Education: A Key Driver of Canada’s Future Prosperity, 2012
11 Generation Study Abroad website, Today’s Numbers, 2015
12 Universities Australia website, Outbound Mobility, June 26, 2013.
To the top of Page