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Canada’s MBA programs want to attract more international students

Canadian MBA schools are increasingly competing to attract more international students and the reason behind it is a win-win situation for both Canada and students.

Canada’S MBA Programs Want To Attract More International Students

International students are showing a growing interest in furthering their studies in Canada. Not only because of the access to education of the highest standard, but also because foreign nationals are welcomed and accommodated in Canada.


According to a recently published article there seems to be growing development with regards to international students seeking to complete their MBA’s in Canada. In fact, international students make up the majority of MBA cohorts at institutions such as York University’s Schulich School of Business, Vancouver Island University, University of Victoria and Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business said the article published in

Canada is among the top study destinations for prospective MBA students, along with the United States and United Kingdom. In 2015, says the writer, Canadian schools received more international applicants than any other country.

Findings by Canada’s Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) showed that international students are responsible for as many as 73% of all MBA applications received by the country’s education centres.

Closely watched global rankings like the ones produced by the Financial Times and the Economist heavily influence where students spend their higher education dollars.

“Opening the doors to overseas students isn’t really about being a do-gooder nation; it’s a demographic necessity for MBA schools,” reads the article, adding that, “Domestic [Canadian] enrolment is relatively stagnant, while interest in business education is growing abroad.”

The study by GMAC also indicated that international graduate students also pay twice as much in tuition and fees as Canadians, boosting revenue for post-secondary institutions. The benefits extend beyond MBA schools.

Importantly international students created some 90,000 jobs for Canadians and spent more than $10 billion in Canada in 2015, according to Global Affairs Canada. That’s more than the country’s export value of each of wheat, softwood lumber and aluminium.

“The economic benefits of hosting international students are huge, and the gains aren’t just in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. They’re widely distributed across the country,” says Paul Davidson, president of Universities Canada, an advocacy organization that represents 97 institutions.

Students also rated Canada’s immigration policies above that of the UK and USA because of the country’s immigration-friendly policies which could ultimately lead to Canadian citizenship.

“Canada’s visa requirements are much more flexible than other countries’, which gives us an edge,” says Tim Daus, executive director of the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans. “That makes a big difference for students who want to stay and work afterwards.”


Students are necessary to boost the workforce found Ian Robertson, MBA associate director at University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business, “The demographic trends at home don’t necessarily favour post-secondary schools. Canada’s population is growing older, with a smaller pool of working-age people. It’s a different story in emerging markets.”

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