Canada: International students can't seem to get enough of Quebec
Quebec pulling in the foreign crowd. Source: Shutterstock

In the Canadian province, enrollment is up almost 20 percent in some universities in the past year and the total number of international students have gone up 68 percent in the last decade.

According to CBC, university heads and bodies attribute these growth to multiple factors – the province’s universities’ reputation, recruitment drives in both China and the Middle East and the “Trump Effect”.

“The first, I think, is the quality of the Quebec university network,” Michel Patry, president of the coalition of Quebec universities (BCI) said. “It’s increasingly recognized.”

Speaking about the “Trump Effect”, Paltry said: “We see it everywhere across Canada. There were more American or international students who were in the United States, or who wanted to be admitted to the United States, who moved to Canada.”

Not everyone agrees that politics is the driving factor behind this.

Guy Lefebvre, the vice-rector of international relations and Francophonie at Université de Montréal, said he doesn’t necessarily believe more students are choosing Quebec because of political strife.

He said:

“The Trump effect or other political effects are difficult to quantify and to analyze.”

Lefebvre thinks it has more to do with what universities have to offer.

Université du Québec à Chicoutimi saw the highest jump (25 percent) in enrollment numbers – 1,300 international students in 2017. Overall, the province saw a nine percent increase in these students’ numbers, according to data from the coalition of Quebec universities (BCI).

It’s a trend seen throughout Canada. The country has been seeing a hike in number of applicants since a few years ago and peaked during the US presidential election of 2016.

The University of Toronto now enrols around twice the number of international students it did a decade ago.

“Clearly there are things about the international situation — worries about stability, Brexit and the US political environment — that have changed or increased international students’ interest in looking beyond their own countries and beyond the US,” said Richard Levin, executive director of enrolment services and university registrar.

“Now in places like that, students are looking for alternatives and Canada is presenting as a good one in terms of stability, safety and inclusiveness.”

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