Bought you in part by ICEF Monitor.
Here are the highlights:
- New data shows that the number of international students going to Canadian education institutions in 2021 was nearly as high as in 2019, the year before the pandemic
- Fewer Chinese, South Korean, and Vietnamese students are travelling to Canada for their studies, but Canadian educators are receiving increasing numbers of students from a wider range of countries and regions including Europe and Latin America
- The number of Canadian study visas issued to international students in 2021 is down only by 2.6% compared with 2019, representing a robust recovery for the sector
The number of international students in Canada rebounded significantly in 2021, with a 17% increase over the previous year that effectively offsets the 17% decline from 2020. According to new Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data, 621,565 study visas were held by international students attending programmes of at least six months’ duration in 2021 – almost as many as before the pandemic in 2019, when 638,380 students received study visas.
Overall, there are clear indications that Canadian educators are making progress in diversifying their international enrolments at the same time as the number of Chinese students in Canada has been declining.
In the table, we have also included information on 2019–2021 percentage growth to provide a longer-term perspective. With only one exception (India, where numbers were stable), growth over the two years was significant across all markets in the table.
International student numbers in Canada from selected growth markets, 2019–2021. Source: IRCC
The table above includes only markets sending more than 4,500 students – but there are also interesting trends to be observed in (currently) smaller Latin American markets for Canada. For example:
- Bolivia: Up 152.6% (from 95 to 240)
- Chile: Up 132.6% (from 660 to 1,535)
- Peru: Up 112.9% (from 890 to 1,895)
Top 10 countries to choose Canada as a study destination in 2021
Students from the following countries accounted for the largest number of study visas in 2021. Overall, the year saw significant growth from seven of these markets, notable decreases from China and South Korea, and stability from Brazil.
- India: 217,410 (y-o-y +21%)
- China: 105,265 (-10%)
- France: 26,630 (+46%)
- Iran: 16,900 (+21%)
- Vietnam: 16,285 (-14%)
- South Korea: 15,805 (-13%)
- Philippines: 15,545 (+115%)
- US: 14,325 (+14%)
- Nigeria: 13,745 (+30%)
- Mexico: 11,550 (+81%)
Brazil and Bangladesh fell just outside of the top ten sending markets for 2021 with 11,120 and 9,935 study permits held by Brazilian and Bangladeshi students, respectively. Brazilian numbers were stable from 2020 to 2021 while there was a growth of 20% from Bangladesh.