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IDP Education: Canada, the most attractive destination for international students according to a new survey

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Posted on May 29, 2023 at 09:00 am EDT


An Emerging Futures study conducted by IDP Education in March shows that Canada is the top destination of choice for international students. This is largely due to the opportunity to gain work experience after graduation.

Over 25% of respondents selected Canada as their first choice for international study out of the top four destination countries (Canada, United States, Australia, and United Kingdom).

Among 20,000 survey participants, 63% of students globally say post-study work is the main or influencing factor in where they choose to study and 72% said they would apply for a work visa after graduating.

Discover your options to study in Canada

The survey showed that outside of the major markets of India and China, post-study work visa availability was an important consideration for 61% of students intending to study in Canada. This increased to 63% for Nigerian students, 75% for Vietnamese students, and 58% for Ghanaian students.

The report quotes Christine Wach, Director of Client Partnerships for North America at IDP Connect. She said the survey results show that “students see Canada as a welcoming, affordable and safe place to study with good job opportunities available after graduation.”

Additionally, the study found that 53% of students rank employment opportunities available after graduation as a primary consideration when selecting a destination. Other study findings showed that 61% of students said high-quality education was a deciding factor in their choice and 43% were looking for part-time job opportunities while studying.

International students in Canada can work up to 20 hours a week during the academic year without obtaining a work permit. They can work full-time during winter and summer vacations as long as they return to full-time studies the following semester. The study found that 81% of respondents were already working or planning to work part-time during their studies.

Graduate Work Permits

Canada offers graduating international students the opportunity to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) as a way to gain experience living and working in Canada. This experience can be used to obtain permanent resident status and eventually become a Canadian citizen, if desired.

PGWPs are one-time permits and are valid for up to three years, depending on the length of the international student’s program of study. To be eligible, they must have completed their program as a full-time student at a designated learning institution.

The study found that international students were less interested in how many years they could stay in Canada after finishing their program, and were instead more interested in gaining relevant experience to ease their entry into the job market. Only 48% said length of stay was the most attractive part of post-study employment rights. However, 44% said they would transfer their studies to another country if the duration of the post-study visa were shortened.

Why does Canada need international students?

Currently, Canada is home to more than 800,000 international students and is working hard to position itself as one of the top destinations for post-secondary education. Retaining graduates in Canada after they complete their studies can be beneficial to the workforce and the economy, as the country’s population is aging and the number of job vacancies remains high.

Statistics Canada 2022 data shows that immigrants with Canadian study experience were younger, more educated, more likely to speak an official language, and much more likely to have prior admission income to Canada than immigrants who did not study in Canada. Canada.

Wach says that to remain attractive to students in the face of competition from other countries, Canada needs to create more diversity in the classroom and in the future workforce.

“Policymakers, educators, and employers should connect in meaningful ways, while more effort is required to further raise awareness of the contribution students make as employees and improve access to job opportunities for students. international. If this can be achieved both nationally and regionally, we will see more diversity in terms of students coming to Canada, as well as where they choose to study within Canada,” Wach said.

The study concludes that with the rising cost of living, international students need more support and guidance. It found that 51% of them are reconsidering their choice to study abroad due to rising costs. Now they look to institutions for support in finding part-time jobs and seek clear guidance on the total cost of their education.

Discover your options to study in Canada

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