International Students Driving Enrolment Growth in Canada

This pandemic had a significant impact on various sectors. Before this pandemic, it was observed that international students were enrolling in higher education three times more than domestic students. Researchers used the 2018/2019 academic calendar to understand how international students’ enrolment has been affected.

More than 2.1 million students were enrolled at Canadian universities/colleges. The gain due to international students was 16.2% from 1.8%. That same year it was reduced by 0.5% for domestic students.

International Student Enrolment More Than Triple Within A Decade

Talking about a decade, let’s consider the period between 2008 and 2018 where it was seen that enrolment of international students grew from 101,000 to approximately 318,000.

This affected the proportion of international students at Canadian post-secondary getting hiked from 6.4 percent to 16.2%. Total growth in all programs was announced by 57.2%.

Tuition Fee: Source of Funding to Universities

As revenue declined, it was observed that universities are relying more on tuition fees as their prime source of income. According to statistics Canada Report the share of revenue increased by 4.7% between 2013 and 2018.

It is veracious that international students paid more tuition fees than domestic students, which contributed to 40% of all tuition fees.

Growth of STEM Enrolments, Humanities Decrease but Not for International Students

Industry demand directly influences the education system. Change in industry demands modifications in education pattern as well, so it was seen that there were 24.2% more enrolments in mathematics, computers, and information sciences. The contribution of these courses was 5% of total enrolments in 2018. Growth was most robust in this field over the 10 years.

Digitalization plays a significant role in every country’s development, talking about Canada labor market growth of this digital economy grew 37%. It is a satisfactory growth rate compared to the economy’s total growth rate, which was 8.6% between 2010 and 2017.

In Canada, it was seen that arts and humanities as a career option for graduates were seen overqualified. This fact still accounted for 11% of enrolments in the year 2018. This was a massive decrease in enrolments. Even after this assumption, the data was as; 25.2% decrease for Canadian students but increased 106.1% for international students. One of the primary reasons is the opportunity to study abroad or in Canada or because the trend may be opposite in their home country.

Growth in Business, Management, and Public Administration Programs Lead by International Students

International students were more attentive in business and management. The stats depict that international students studying in public administration, management, and the business grew more than 200%, whereas Canadian students contributed to about 7.7%.

Domestic students have their inclination towards the health industry, which attracts them to opt for health-related fields. This trend is not the same for international students.  In 2018, 15.2% of Canadian chose this field of health, whereas only 5.1% of international students chose this field.

Future Prospects

Even after the tremendous impact of this pandemic on various industries, international students are still adding value to the Canadian economy.  Canadian data explains that the participation of international students is crucial. One of the precious reasons for the same is that international students contribute to their economy and support the social and cultural activities of the campus.

Incoming international students also contribute to the local economy as it is a mutually beneficial relationship between the students and the country. The country provides them quality and sustainable education, whereas educated individuals can be future citizens with permanent residents, contributing to the workforce.

Talking of permanent citizenship, one-third of international students who planned their bachelor’s degrees in Canada and half of the international students with masters from the country became permanent residents 10 years after they got their first study permit.

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