There were indications all along that Canadian recruiters were in for a strong year in 2017. And now the latest figures from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirm another year of very strong growth.
As of 31 December 2017, there were 495,525 international students enrolled in Canadian institutions and schools. This represents an increase of 20% over the year before, and officially marks that the country has reached its long-term target – to host 450,000 foreign students by 2022 – a full five years ahead of schedule.
Taking a longer view, the number of international students in Canada has increased by just under 120% between 2010 and 2017, and by 41% between 2015 and 2017 alone.
“This clearly demonstrates the continuing attractiveness of Canada as a study destination,” said Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) President Karen McBride. “Our research shows that international students choose Canada because of the quality of the Canadian education system and our reputation as a safe and tolerant country. This reputation is especially attractive now, given a changing global climate.”
As the following graphic reflects, China and India remain the most important drivers of Canada’s continuing growth.
This level of spending supported nearly 170,000 jobs across the country in 2016, and total spending by international students is now equivalent to nearly 15% of all of Canada’s service exports.
Canada’s fastest-growing markets in 2017 were Vietnam (+89%), India (+63%), and Iran (+45%). India, however, is the big story as its 63% growth comes off an already large base of just over 76,000 students in 2016. There are now nearly 124,000 Indian students enrolled in Canada, up from 48,500 in 2015. Source ICEF Monitor