Canadian Student Enrolment
New data from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveal that Canadian institutions and schools had a record year of growth. According to IRCC, there were 807,750 foreign students with active study permits for Canada as of December 31, 2022. This compares to just over 617,000 the previous year, representing an incredible 31% year-over-year growth rate.
This enrolment is also 27% higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting 43% growth in the previous five years and nearly 170% growth over the last decade.
As of 2021, India is still by far the largest sending market for Canadian educators. At the end of December 2022, there were just under 320,000 Indian students with active study permits. This represents a year-over-year increase of slightly more than 47%. By the end of 2022, Indian students accounted for nearly four out of every ten foreign students in Canada.
In contrast, China, which was Canada’s leading sending market for decades, now accounts for roughly 12.5% of the country’s foreign enrolment. The 100,075 Chinese students with active study permits as of December 31, 2022 represent a -4.3% decrease from levels in 2021.
According to IRCC, “Canada is on track to set a new record this year” in separate reporting on study permit processing. IRCC had processed over 670,000 study permits as of [30 November 2022], compared to more than 500,000 during the same time period last year.”
Processing times, on the other hand, continue to be a significant issue, with average turnaround times for new applications lodged from outside of Canada reportedly running up to 10 weeks. IRCC’s reporting in this regard revolves around an established service standard of 60 days, which, while processing times will vary by country, continues to suggest that students file study permit applications well in advance of the start of their planned program.
Leading senders and notable growth markets
The following table summarises the top 15 sending markets for Canada for the period from 2019 through 2022.
Canadian Student Enrolment – Notable Gainers
Along with India, notable gainers within this field of top sending markets for the include Philippines (+112.19%), Nigeria (+59.85%), Hong Kong (+72.60%), and Colombia (+54.34%). Those latest numbers also see Philippines surging into the top three sending markets for the first time.
Other notable growth markets just outside that top tier include Nepal (with 7,745 students for end of 2022 and +257.74% year-over-year growth); Algeria (7,510; +44.42%); Ukraine (7,150; +268.56%); Sri Lanka (5,205; +93.85%); Cameroon (4,075; +59.49%); and Peru (4,025; +114.67%).
Needless, this dramatic growth for 2022 represents a record-high level of foreign enrolment that places Canada squarely among the top study destinations worldwide.
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