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.

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