Enrolment of international students at Canadian public college and universities rose in 2016-2017 (University of Victoria Theatre photo)

International students account for rise in enrolment at Canadian colleges and universities

The majority of these foreign students come from China, and increasingly India

International students largely accounted for the overall rise in enrolment at Canadian public college and universities in 2016-2017, according to a new Statistics Canada report.

Enrolments of international students jumped by 11.7 per cent (25,581) from 2015-2016 to reach a total figure of 244,842 in 2016/2017.

RELATED: International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Were it not for foreign students, enrolment would have largely remained the same. Of the 26,811 new students who enrolled at Canadian public universities and colleges, Canadians counted for 300.

What accounts for the surge of the international students? Factors, according to the report, include “programs and policies put in place to increase their numbers, the quality of post-secondary education, and the appeal of Canada as a study destination.”

While China remained the top source country for international students in 2016-2017, most of the enrolment gains came from India, which supplied 9,672 new students.

RELATED: Greater Victoria schools reach out to the world

Looking at the larger sociology of university enrolment, women represented 56.2 per cent and continued to outnumber men in most fields of study, with education (77 per cent), and health and related fields (74.1 per cent) representing the two fields of study with the highest share of women. Men accounted for the majority of enrolments in architecture, engineering and related technologies (79.5 per cent) and mathematics, computer and information sciences (73 per cent).


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