- As of the end of 2022, 807,750 international students had valid study permits (study visas) for Canada, as reported by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- The Philippines has risen from being a relatively untapped source market to the third most popular source country for international students going to study in Canada.
- Nigeria’s growth of 59.85% from 2019 puts it fifth among Canada’s top five senders of international students.
In my article from last year, I mentioned that India, China, France, Iran, and Vietnam were the top five international student markets for Canadian institutions in 2021.
We now analyze the most up-to-date information from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the international student population in Canada in the year 2022.
The 30% Growth in International Enrolment
Before we delve into the country’s primary and emerging student source, I’d like to highlight the increasing number of international students enrolling in Canadian universities.
Studies have shown that over 60% of international students prefer Canada to any other country as a place to pursue higher education for several reasons.
This has proven to be accurate even in the present day. According to a new study, there has been an increase in the number of prospective international students considering Canada as their study-abroad destination. According to the most recent numbers from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada welcomed 551,405 international students from 184 different countries in 2022. There were also 807,750 international students in possession of valid study permits (study visas) for Canada as of the end of the year 2022.
Although the number of international students declined in 2020 due to the pandemic, data showed that the numbers reversed in 2021 and saw a significant uptick in 2022, with nearly 170,000 more international students enrolling in the following year compared to 2019.
The Top 5 Leading Markets for International Students
With 319,130 total international enrollment in 2022, an increase of 47.39% from 2019, India continues to be Canada’s largest sending market.
Meanwhile, China remains the second-largest international enrollment market for Canadian institutions. However, its rate of expansion has slowed considerably since 2019. In 2019, there were 140,550 students enrolled; by 2022, that number had dropped to 100,075, a decrease of 4.29%.
The Philippines as a major source country came as a surprise. From an emerging source market in 2019, the country has now become the third leading source market, displacing France, which is now ranked fourth with 27,135 total international enrolments (a 2.76% increase). Starting with only 7,730 international enrolments in 2019, the Philippines has surged to a total of 32,455 enrolments, a whopping 112.19-% growth in 2022.
Along with the largest senders, Nigeria came fifth with a 59.85% growth since 2019. Other countries that saw sizable increases include Hong Kong (72.6%) and Colombia (54.34%).
Canada continues to attract a large number of international students for a variety of reasons. The country has a prominent position in the international education scene due to its high standard of teaching, relatively low tuition rates, and readily available post-graduation employment and immigration options.
And with this new information, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions in Canada will need to step up their game to accommodate the students who are interested in attending their schools. Keeping abreast of market trends may necessitate, for example, making use of recruitment services that authentically introduce prospective students to the right programs and right institutions. (SUNEETHA QURESHI)
Suneetha has worked for 15 years in the international education sector and 25 years overall for her work for other industries. As president of MSM, she fortifies its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray into edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She preserves the premium, value-adding services provided to each MSM partner institute, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application prescreening, and student and parent support through pioneering pre-departure briefing sessions.
She has an impeccable track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European higher education institutions. Her key strengths include hiring, training, and developing teams as evidenced by the successful results of the dedicated in-country college and university client teams.
Suneetha also has taken the lead in developing several initiatives at MSM, including building robust standard operating procedures, the Rise ‘n Shine team engagement platform, and the organization’s data analytics and audit segments.
- Moosapeta, A. 2023. Canada breaks record by welcoming over 550,000 new international students in 2022. CIC News. Retrieved from https://www.cicnews.com/2023/02/canada-breaks-record-by-welcoming-over-550000-new-international-students-in-2022-0233097.html#gs.qliqzi
- 2023. Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022. Monitor icef. Retrieved from https://monitor.icef.com/2023/02/canadas-foreign-enrolment-grew-by-more-than-30-in-2022/
- 2022. Top 5 International Student Markets for Canada in 2021. MSM. Retrieved from https://msquaremedia.com/research/top-5-international-student-markets-for-canada-in-2021/