2012 was a record-breaking year for the Canadian education system. For the first time in the country’s history, over 100,000 permits were issued to new international students. This is an example of Canada’s growing reputation as a global magnet for students of all disciplines from around the world.
Canada’s popularity amongst international students has seen a sharp rise in recent years. 2012’s figures were a full 60% increase from 2004, and the number of new students has the capacity to increase by 7% every successive year. In total, there are currently around 260,000 international students in Canada today, studying both full- and part-time.
What Contributes to Canada’s Popularity?
The government of Canada has worked hard to attract, in the words of former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, “the world’s best and brightest young minds”. In the global competition for the world’s future leaders and innovators, Canada’s reasons for success are many:
Good Schools – Canada is home to some of the world’s leading educational institutions at all levels of study. McGill University, located in Montreal, is consistently voted one of the 20 best universities in the world. Students in Canada can study in English, French, or often in both languages thanks to the country’s official policy of bilingualism.
Cost of Living – Compared to countries like the US and Britain, the cost of living in Canada is significantly less expensive, easing the financial burden of students during and after studies.
High Acceptance Rate – 81% of study permit applicants receive their Canadian study permits.
Permit Processing Rules – Canada will soon introduce new rules that will restrict the issuance of study permits to only students studying at institutions that have been approved by their province or territory. This will help maintain the integrity of Canada’s work permit program and ensure a smooth study process for students.
Post-Graduation Options – Many graduates from Canadian educational institutions can remain in the country as temporary workers and become permanent residents if they so choose.
After graduating from a Canadian educational institution, students have a number of options before them. Many return to their home countries, where they will use their newly acquired skills to excel in their chosen professions. However, many remain in Canada to live and work for an extended period of time.
“Students who stay in Canada after graduations are a win-win situation,” said Attorney David Cohen. “They are able to begin careers in our thriving economy, while Canada benefits economically from their experience. It is no wonder the country has worked hard to streamline immigration processing for international students graduating from Canadian schools.”
Many students are able to leverage their time in Canada as a stepping stone to permanent residency. Make sure to tune into the next issue of CIC News, where we will explore the different ways in which this is possible.
To find out if you are eligible for a study permit, please fill out a free online assessment today.