The Canadian government has announced a new International Education Strategy designed to maintain and enhance the country’s global position in higher education by attracting more overseas students to Canada each year.
In addition to annually attracting more international researchers and students to Canada, the comprehensive plan sets targets to deepen the research links between Canadian and foreign educational institutions and establish a pan-Canadian partnership with provinces and territories and all key education stakeholders, including the private sector.
It is hoped that Canada’s International Education Strategy: Harnessing Our Knowledge Advantage to Drive Innovation and Prosperity will help the country build on its already strong education advantages and performance.
The strategy seeks to double the number of international students choosing Canada by the year 2022 without displacing Canadian students.
According to the plan, attracting more than 450,000 international researchers and students to Canada by 2022 will:
– Create at least 86,500 net new jobs for Canadians, bringing the total of jobs sustained by international education in Canada to 173,100 new jobs;
– See international student expenditures in Canada rise to over $16.1 billion, generating economic growth and prosperity in every region of Canada; and
– Provide an approximate $10 billion annual boost to the Canadian economy.
“Our government recognises that international education is a key driver of jobs and prosperity in every region of Canada,” explained the country’s Minister of International Trade, Ed Fast, at the strategy’s launch. “By striking a panel of eminent Canadians to advise us, by working closely with key stakeholders every step of the way, and by developing a plan that will align our efforts with those of our provincial and territorial partners and members of the international education community, we are ensuring that Canada stays ahead of the curve in a global environment that is fiercely competitive,” he added.
Official figures show that the number of international students entering Canada in the last ten years has already increased by 51 per cent; from 69,215 student arrivals in 2003 to 104,777 student arrivals in 2012.
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Article published 20th January 2014