A recent article in the New York Times reported that Canada is working to recruit more international students from all over the world. According to UNESCO and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, they claimed that close to 3.7 million students pursued post-secondary education abroad in 2009, an enormously growing trend when compared to 800,000 in 1975.
This statistic displays that the number of international students has increased over four times since 1975, and this year Canada hit a record of over 100,000 international students accepted to their schools, which means that the numbers have tripled when compared to 2000.
The Canadian minister of international trade and for the Pacific Gateway, Edward Fast, suggested in a report that international education is crucial for economic and social development; they aimed at doubling the number of international students by 2022.
“Last year, international students contributed more than $8 billion dollars to Canada’s economy,” said Mr. Fast. “The amount is about $7.8 billion at current rates. They supported 86,000 Canadian jobs.”
“They’re a vital link as we create the people-to-people ties that will grow our partnerships with countries around the world. As Canadians do more business abroad, we need these kinds of connections”, he added.
Paul Davidson, President of the Association of Colleges and Universities of Canada said, “When international students think about where to go, our main competition is the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. We must get Canada on the list of places people consider.”
He said that all Canadian universities need to work together to build a strong national brand proposition to attract the international students. Right now Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia are the leading provinces in recruiting international students. The University of Toronto is most popular university, which currently has 11,500 international students enrolled.
The government of Canada has been progressively changing its policies in recent years, for example, allowing international students to work off campus after 6 months of full-time study, and issuing work permits to the graduates up to 3 years if they like to stay in Canada to seek for career opportunities.