International students are still pouring into Canada in their numbers and every year the number of applications to Canadian Universities by international students climb by as much as 35%. This is according to information released by a number of large Canadian Universities including the University of Toronto and McGill.
The University of Toronto has seen a strong spike in applications from foreign students heading into the 2017-18 academic year. By early January international applications had increased around 35% from previous years. International students make up about 20 per cent of the Canadian university's student population.
"There's a real surge in interest from around the world," says Ted Sargent, vice-president, international, at the University of Toronto. In addition, more of those top candidates are accepting offers to attend and are enrolling, he says. "So their interest in us is very genuine. They're not just scattering applications around." This seems only partly due to the United States falling out of favour for some students and more a result of Canadian university recruitment.
These universities report on getting applications from as many as 140 world countries.
"About a year ago, we decided to increase our efforts in the U.S., specifically. We wanted to diversify our admission of international students," says Richard Levin, the University of Toronto's registrar. "We have students from over 140 countries, but we don't get as many American students as we think we should."
Montreal's McGill University saw an increase of 21 per cent in international applications. Last year this figure stood at 8 per cent. A 13 per cent increase. "That has been climbing over the years, but this is a substantial increase this year," said the university's registrar Kathleen Massey in an article published in the Globe and Mail.
McGill's proportion of international students is relatively high at about 27 per cent.
Massey continued saying that, "Because there was an increase last year, I think it's more than political changes. I would say that there are political changes happening worldwide that may make Canada – not just McGill, but Canada – very interesting as an alternate choice.”
"It's recognized that we have top-quality educational institutions here, and there are perceptions of safety in Canada that other parts of the world can't necessarily make a claim to. Beyond that, also, the Canadian dollar relative to the American dollar is very advantageous right now," she concluded.
The same can be seen at other Canadian Universities. The University of British Columbia has a strong international student population, whereas Queen's University in Kingston is among the larger universities looking to increase its international student population.