The Canada government is working with the universities and colleges in the country to attract more international students. Canada already has a record number of international students, 572,415 study permit holders in total, as per 2018 estimates. However, the government of Canada is devising strategies in cooperation with the educational institutions to attract more students, especially from target countries which are growing economically. Students from India and China dominate the international student landscape in Canada. They account for 315,610 or 55 per cent of the total Study Permit holders in Canada.
As per the available data, university enrolment in Canada increased by 15 per cent between 2017 and 2018. The number of study permits issued also increased by 180 per cent last decade. The reason behind this incredible growth in the number of international students is the efforts taken by the Canadian government to attract more international students to the country. International students contribute almost $15.5 billion per year to the Canadian economy. As per the 2016 data, they also supported nearly 170,000 jobs in 2016.
Canada’s existing strategy for attracting international students involves a three-step process. The first step is issuing study permits to the students for full time education. Second is issuing Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to eligible students and third, they can use the work experience gathered with the work permit to qualify for permanent residence in the country.
In fact, these benefits have made Canada one of the most attractive study destinations for international students. Another factor that makes Canada a favourite study destination for international students is the fact that the cost of education is cheaper compared to many other prominent study destinations, especially the US. In Canada, a student can have access to world class education without having to spend as much as they have to in the US.
International students are an important source of income for the educational institutions in Canada as well, as they pay higher tuition fee compared to the Canadian students.
Those who are planning to study in Canada must first make sure that the institution and the study program that they have chosen are eligible. They can obtain a Post-graduation Work Permit only if they have studied a PGWP-eligible program in a designated learning institution. With the PGWP, an international student can stay and work in Canada for between eight months and three years after they graduate. The duration depends on the length of the study program. Work experience earned with the PGWP will help international students get priority points while applying for permanent residence in Canada.