Canada International Student Statistics

Canada International Student Statistics

canada international student statistics

At all levels of the Canadian educational system, Canada draws a large number of overseas students.There are many reasons why international students find Canada as an ideal place for tertiary education, but the multicultural environment tends to be the strongest motive. Canada’s educational system is undoubtedly attractive, it gives international students an abundance of choices, from public institutions to private ones. Not to mention the degree programs that provide unrivaled academic expertise.

If you decide to study in Canada, you are giving yourself the opportunity to experience the vivid student life, to participate in various summer camps as well as to join the labor market as soon as you graduate. In Canada, there are over 90 higher education institutions, each of which plays an important role in providing students with all of the resources they need to receive a high-quality education. The student population keeps increasing year by year, which means international students appreciate the excellence of Canadian higher education institutions.

Number of International Students in Canada Overview

  • According to the National Statistics Office of Canada in 2019, 625,785 international students have enrolled in public universities and colleges in Canada, inspiring new ideas, boosting innovation, and developing people-to-people relationships that are critical to international trade and the global economy.
  • As per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, there were 530,540 foreign students with study permits in 2020. In comparison to 2019, the number of international students holding a study permit increased approximately 31%. However, this doesn’t mean that students holding this type of visa were necessarily in Canada. 
  • The total number of students in the postsecondary education institutions, as of 2018/2019, is 1,053,228 including both international students and domestic ones.

International Students in Canada Through the Years

  • In a matter of ten years, the number of overseas students enrolled in formal programs increased from 101,304 in 2008/2009 to 318,153 in 2018/2019. As a consequence, the proportion of international students enrolled increased from 6.4 percent to 16.2 percent by 2018/2019, accounting for 57.2 percent of overall program enrollment growth.
  • More than 721,000 foreign students studied in Canada in 2018, inspiring new ideas, bolstering innovation, and increasing people-to-people relationships that are critical to international trade and the global economy.
  • According to 2017 statistics from the National Statistics Office of Canada, 538,929 international students have been studying in 12 provinces and territories of Canada. Ontario hosts the largest number of international students into its universities, more than 40 thousand international students decided on this province.
  • International students population in Canada has experienced approximately a 22% decline from 2017 to 2016. The total number of international students in 2016 was 415,545.

International Students in Canada by Country of Origin

  • According to IRCC from 2018, nearly half of all international students come from only two countries: India (172,625), which accounts for about 30% of enrollments, and China (142,895), which accounts for about 25%.
  • In most broad university program areas, China was the leading source of international enrolment.
  • France, Vietnam, Brazil and Iran are some of the other countries from which international students tend to join higher education in Canada. The majority of them (58,800), according to 2019 statistics, have chosen universities in the province of Ontario.

International Students in Canada by Field of Study

  • In 2017/2018, several academic programs depended substantially on overseas student enrollment . At both the college and university levels, about one-third of enrolments in Mathematics, Computer, and Information Sciences were international (30.8 percent and 31.6 percent, respectively).
  • Most international students study Business and Administration at Canadian universities.
  • In 2018/2019, 77,578 international students were studying Business and Administration at both colleges and universities in Canada.
  • In the same timeframe, international students seem to not be fond of Legal Professions and Studies, thus counting only 287 students into higher education institutions of Canada.
  • Statistics 49.5 percent, Computational Science 38.5 percent, Mathematics 37.4 percent, and Applied Mathematics 37.4 percent were the more specialized programs with the largest proportion of international enrolments at the university level, 36.3 percent, according to 2017/2018 statistics.
  • In 2017/2018, 65.2 percent international students preferred to enroll in Data Processing and Data Processing Technology/Technician Program, 40.0 percent in Computer Programming Program, and Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, General, which had the greatest rates at the college level 37.2 percent.

International Students in Canada by Gender

  • Bachelor’s Programs: As of 2018/2019, enrolments of internationals in bachelor’s are dominated by females 71,718 (50,2%). However the number of males doesn’t change drastically in comparison to females, since it comprises 71,280 (49.8%).
  • Master’s Programs: Within the same period of time, 22,455 males were studying at the master’s level, 23 percent higher than the females (18,117).
  • Doctoral Programs: The number of international male students in Canadian higher education institutions was 11,775 while the number of  female international students was 7,533 in 2018/2019, which means there were 22% more male students than female.

Brief Description of International Student Population in Canada Over the Past Years

  • International students accounted for 14.7 percent of overall enrolments in universities in 2017/2018, indicating a raise of 8.2 percent from 2009/2010.
  • At the collegiate level, the percentage of enrolment from overseas sources increased from 5.2 percent in 2009/2010 to 13.2 percent in 2017/2018.
  • The proportion of overseas enrolments varied significantly by province. This was notably true at the college level, when overseas students accounted for fewer than 1% of enrolments in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador in 2017/2018, compared to 21.4 percent in Ontario.

Why Study in Canada

1. Marvelous Education System

The excellent level of education is one of the most important reasons why students choose to study in Canada. Many Canadian institutions are at the forefront of groundbreaking discoveries and technological advancements. As a matter of fact, Canadian universities tend to hold the highest positions in international rank. Referring to QS World University Rankings, more than 20 universities are at the top level and continue to maintain their positions due to their academic excellence.

2. Working While Studying

There are quite a lot of job opportunities for international students and frankly this is quite fulfilling because students are able to financially cover their living expenses. Students holding a study permit can easily undertake jobs on and off campus. However, they are not restricted to this kind of setting and can find other convenient jobs.

3. Multicultural Environment

Canada has evolved into a multicultural, post-national society. Its boundaries include the whole globe, and Canadians have discovered that their two international languages, as well as its diversity, provide a competitive edge and a source of ongoing creativity and innovation. International students are always prone to such places, and Canada surely provides a comfortable environment and a diverse one too.

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