Canada’s five year international student strategy is aiming to attract students from a diverse background and also promoting different cities and universities to have a better outbound mobility.

Recent numbers shows that 570,000 foreign study permit holders contributed over $21 billion to the Canadian economy since the start of 2019, representing a vital part for the country’s economy. A key aim of the new $148-million strategy is to increase the variety of source countries for international students. It has focused almost $30 million to diversify recruitment efforts to sort this matter.

Nowadays over 50% of Canada’s international students come from India and China and they are concentrated in large cities such as Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver. The plan is to invest on recruitment efforts in different countries like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, Turkey, France and Ukraine.

Other important point for Canada is to diversify where international students study in Canada, thus bringing foreign talent to locations that usually receive fewer immigrants than large urban centres. Smaller universities such as the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, or Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, B.C., may also be an attractive option to those looking for a more intimate post-secondary experience.

The Minister of International Trade Diversification, James Carr, said international students stimulate innovation and develop cross-cultural competencies.“If [students from abroad] choose to immigrate to Canada, they contribute to Canada’s economic success,” Carr said in a statement. “Those who choose to return to their countries become life-long ambassadors for Canada and for Canadian values.”