Canada now 3rd most popular study abroad destination

Canada now 3rd most popular study abroad destination

Canada has become the world’s 3rd most popular study abroad destination for international students.

Over the past decade, the study abroad international student population in Canada has tripled, having reached 642,000 students last year.

Canada now ranks as the world’s third most popular higher education destination, behind the USA and Australia. UNESCO has revealed that the number of international students globally has increased five-fold, from 2 million in 2000 to 5 million today.

CIC News have attributed this rapid growth in part to the rise in the global middle class population, and the consequent rise in students seeking educational and immigration opportunities in another country.

They also stated that Canadian higher education institutions have been largely dependent on recruiting international students, due to Canada’s low birth rate stagnating their intake of Canadian-born students.

Ontario home to almost 50% of study abroad students in Canada

Almost 50% of Canada’s international student population, around 307,000 students, study in Ontario, which forms Canada’s largest beneficiary of foreign students.

This is followed by British Columbia (145,000 students) and Quebec (87,000 students).

56% of Canada’s international students originally come from India and China, with India alone accounting for 34% of Canada’s international student population.

India’s large middle-class population, possessing high levels of English-language proficiency, finds Canada an attractive destination.

Over the last 5 years, Canada’s population of Indian students has almost quadrupled.

Canada has sought to aid these students with the introduction of the Student Direct Stream, which fast tracks study permit applications from countries with high numbers of international students, including India and China.

Canada popular due to reputation as a multicultural, tolerant society

Research from the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) found that Canada was a popular choice amongst international students as a study abroad destination due to both the quality of its education and the reputation it holds as a multicultural, tolerant society.

60% of the international students interviewed by CBIE also stated that they are interested in becoming permanent residents of Canada, after the completion of their studies.

Research from the Canadian government estimates that the country’s international students contribute $22 billion to Canada’s economy every year and help to sustain over 170,000 jobs.

Pic: Silvestri Matteo

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at

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