According to recent statistics released by the Canadian government in The Canadian Magazine of Immigration, the number of international students pursuing an education in the country has increased by 105% to 3,53,272 in 2015 from 172,370 in 2004. Students from over 170 countries reportedly travelled to Canada for higher education, with India being the second largest origin country since 2012. The number of Indian students in Canada increased 630% from 6,675 in 2004 to 48,730 in 2015.
When PaGaLGuY shared these statistics with students aspiring to pursue higher education in the country, they weren’t surprised. “Canada is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, preferred for its respect for personal freedom and for tolerance toward immigrants as per the 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index. The country is also known to be diverse, democratic and immigrant-friendly, which are very important deciding factors for a student while planning on which country to pursue higher education in,” says Kinjal Dholakia, who is planning to pursue MA in Asia Studies from University of British Columbia in 2017.
Sayan Chakraborty, another aspirant chose Canada because an MS there is more research oriented unlike in the USA, where it is more focused on being a professional degree. “It means, you’ll probably be treated as a potential PhD candidate and your education will be mostly funded keeping that in mind, which works in your favour,” he said.
Canada is also one of the most sought after destinations for those who wish to seek overseas permanent residence options. Speaking about it at length, Vibha Kagzi, Founder and CEO, ReachIvy said, ” It is easier to get a residency permit in Canada as against USA or UK. From a long-term perspective, Canada has always been a better option,” she said, adding that those who want to pursue additional courses like a second masters degree or an applied diploma often choose Canada as a more preferred destination.
Another added advantage for foreign students, particularly Indians in Canada wishing to obtain permanent residency after studies, has been the revision in the calculation of points under the Express Entry Program (EEP). According to the revised instructions issued by Canada’s department of citizenship and immigration, dated November 19, foreign students will be able to add 30 additional points to build up their profile in the express entry pool to gain leverage against other applicants in the selection process.
Going forward too, there is a potential for further growth in the number of Indians migrating to Canada for higher education, given the current state of affairs in the world. “With the result of the Brexit referendum, and Donald Trump becoming the next President, there is a likelihood of an increasing number of students opting for Canada as their study abroad destination. I know I made a shift in my choice for those reasons. Canada is any day a more politically stable country and I definitely want to take that into consideration before making my decision,” said Akash Chandorkar, who is planning to pursue MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Quebec in the coming year.