Global Survey Shows Canada Continues to Be a Top Choice for International Students

Canada North America International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Apr 25, 2023

woman with a small Canadian flag in Banff, Canada

Canada continues to dominate as the most attractive country to pursue higher education, a new survey from IDP Connect, a leader in student marketing and recruitment, has revealed.

IDP’s survey involving more than 20,000 prospective and current students from over 100 countries spotlighted fierce competition between major English-speaking countries.

Some 34 percent of students said they consider to apply to universities in at least three of the four major destinations, such as Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US, reports.

However, the Emerging Futures 3 research also found that Australia and the UK have recorded a slight drop of two percent in the number of students considering the countries as their first option, compared to the previous research conducted in August 2022.

On the other hand, the US witnessed an increase of three percent in international students considering it as the first choice, compared to last year’s numbers.

IDP Connect CEO, Simon Emmett, said the study highlights an all-time high competition for international students. While wide action is needed to better provide a better link to employment opportunities, he said that students already know what they want from higher education institutions.

“As the cost-of-living increases, the research highlights that students need more support and guidance. They are looking to institutions to support them in finding part-time jobs and to provide clear and transparent guidance about the total cost of their education,” Emmett said, pointing out that half of the students said they have never traveled abroad before.

Additionally, the survey has revealed that the Graduate Route visa – which permits one to stay in the UK for at least two years after completing studies – was a crucial factor impacting the decision of 59 percent of respondents from Nigeria when considering where to study as well as of 73 percent Taiwanese and 69 percent Vietnamese students.

Nonetheless, students appeared more interested in the opportunities they would have in the UK job market rather than the period they could stay in the country. 63 percent of respondents globally mentioned post-study work as the most important factor when choosing where to study abroad.

Director of Client Partnerships, International for UK and Europe from IDP Connect, Rachel MacSween, confirmed that among the factors that international students consider when selecting a study destination, the chance to gain work experience appears to be the most important.

As a result, MacSween said that educators, companies, and policymakers must collaborate in “meaningful ways” to attract more talents from abroad who could also contribute to the UK's labor market.

“What the findings demonstrate is that by creating a clearer pathway from education to employment, the UK will see demand increase from a greater number and more diverse set of countries,” MacSween said.

Last year, Canada set a new record by attracting 551,405 students from 184 countries, many from India and China.

>> Canada: Nearly 116% Increase in Study Permits Issued in Three Years

Image by Andy Holmes | Unsplash

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