Foreign students flock to Canada as government struggles to get grads to stay

Some of Canada’s biggest universities are beginning the new school year with a record number of international students on campus.

The steady upswing in foreign applicants began several years ago, then started to spike after the U.S. presidential election in 2016. The challenge for the federal government now is to maintain that trend amid competing countries, and to encourage more from the talented pool to stay on as permanent residents.

The University of Toronto, Canada’s top draw for international students, enrolled 17,452 international students in undergraduate and graduate programs last year, making up about 20 per cent of the overall student body.

That compares to 7,380 international students comprising about 10 per cent of the total student population a decade ago, in 2007.

  • Justin St.Denis

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of foreign students are in Canada pursuing STEM degrees as opposed to the squishy Arts alternatives. If it is more than 50%, we should absolutely encourage them to become Canadian citizens and stay. The others are wasting their time in Canada pursuing useless “credentials” so why should Canada waste any time/energy on them to encourage their lazy stupid arses to stay? We already have generations of lazy stupid arses to deal with and really don’t need to import more!

    • I suspect most do, but why are we denying Canadians placement in these courses?

      • ntt1

        that is the problem right there, in our school district Asian foreign students are a major part of the yearly funding plus accommodations has produced a flourishing home stay business, the temptation to deny access to or force long commutes to distant facilities,on Canadian kids is always there and school boards and administrators must be closely monitored by activist parent groups. apart from that , the sight of pink candy floss haired Korean kids wandering our old logging town is some what interesting.

  • canminuteman

    I thought part of the reason that we accepted foreign students was so that we can educate them and send them back so that they can improve the benighted dumps that they came from? I guess not. It must be so that the universities can make money selling seats to students at the expensive foreign student rate and deny said spots to Canadian kids whose ancestors have paid taxes to support those institutions for generations.

    • Isn’t it “racist” to want to want to strip-mine the 3rd world of its best and brightest?

      • canminuteman

        Apparently it’s racist to NOT want to.

  • ontario john

    Those black, feminist, basket weaving courses must be popular.

    • Liberal Progressive

      Shouldn’t space be reserved in Gender Studies courses for foreign students to ensure there is no discrimination against them?

      • ontario john

        Big Chief Pam at Ryerson, will have a full class to teach that Canadians are racist bastards.

        • Liberal Progressive

          But that’s not true. It’s obviouly only male cis-gendered Caucasians who are racist bastards by birth.

          I am going to send out the Young Liberals squad to take you away to a re-education camp to teach you what reality really is.

  • DMB

    Another reason why Universities should be privatized. They have become nothing more than degree/diploma mills. The fact that they are focusing on attracting foreign students show that they are a for profit entity rather than merely an educational institution and giving preference to them as well. Many Universities and Colleges to a lesser degree have become more interested in indoctrinating students into left wing ideologies under the guise of “Liberal Arts” studies rather than employment/career preparedness believing that “social development” is more important form of education. Social development is something that people can learn for free out in the public that does not require institutional direction and more importantly will not lead to tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. If you want a decent education that will lead to good employment prospects take a skilled trades program.

    • The educational bureaucracy has grown fat on the public tit and they desperately need foreign dollars to sustain their privileged lifestyles.

      • Dana Garcia

        American universities love foreign students because they pay full tuition, with none of that subsidized in-state stuff. More money for big salaries!

  • Waffle

    This piece is long on rhetoric and very short on facts. As another commenter pointed out, it would be very interesting to know what percentage of our professional faculties are occupied by foreign students (medicine, law, dentistry, engineering). The overall percentage may be 20% but how many Asians, primarily Chinese @ 36%, are wasting their time on dumbed-down artsy-fartsy courses? The 20% number is meaningless.

    BTW, if you want an inexpensive Chinese food lunch, head to U of T — the food trucks are lined up on St, George. Excellent value!!

  • ismiselemeas

    I’d wager that a good percentage of these foreign students are here purely to buy property, either for themselves or their immediate family. It’s a racket.

  • ECM

    …and to encourage more from the talented pool to stay on as permanent residents.

    Because they’re not killing Canada fast enough already.

  • P_F

    It’s an easy & fast way to gain permanent residency in canada. Also, majority of east indian students work for cash & way more than permitted hours (20/wk) in small businesses, creating a whole new underground economy, while replacing Canadian labor.
    Foreign Students from 3rd world countries maybe good for schools/universities & foreign students but certainly doesn’t goes in favor of Canadians.

  • Malcolm Y

    One of the reasons American universities want foreign students is very often they pay full retail price. Is Canada the same?

    • Ottawa Eyes

      Yes. And the universities are reluctant to fail even the worst of them, because they are paying so much to get the degree. Some even have insufficient proficiency in English to pass the classes yet still are passed.

    • Tooth&Claw

      Worse they are also paying to go through our lower school systems.