According to a recent study by CBIE, lengthy study permit processing times pose a concern for Canada’s global competitiveness by limiting both the effectiveness of the federal International Education Strategy and the effectiveness of PSE recruitment efforts across the country. Nigeria was particularly noted as a site needing improvement, as there was an 18-month average processing time in Nigeria, one of Canada’s biggest source markets, while Chile had an average wait of 9 days. “We’re probably one of the most difficult countries for Nigerian students to study in, but they’re the fastest growing group of students who are coming to Canada,” said CBIE research manager Janine Knight-Grofe.
Over the past two decades, the number of international students admitted annually to Canada has nearly tripled, according to a new study by Statistics Canada. Entitled “International students who become permanent residents in Canada,” the report examines the number and characteristics of international students as well as their transition to permanent residence. For the earliest cohort studied (1990 to 1994), a plurality were enrolled in primary or secondary school; for the most recent cohort (2010 to 2013), a plurality were enrolled in non-university postsecondary. The report suggests that students from countries with “lower levels of economic development and less favourable social and political environments” were more likely to seek permanent residence in Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, enrolments in public postsecondary institutions rose 1.2% for the 2013/14 academic year, bringing the total to more than 2 million. International enrolment rose even more quickly, up 2.5% over the previous year, and now accounts for nearly 10% of total enrolments. Enrolment rose the most in Ontario, followed by Quebec and British Columbia. Roughly 60% of enrolments were at the bachelor’s level or above. 56.3% of all students were women, but this proportion was only 45.6% for international students. Enrolment rose fastest in the category of architecture, engineering, and related technologies.