Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada - Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Inc., May 2012
We estimate that in 2010, international students in Canada spent in excess of $7.7 billion on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending; created over 81,000 jobs; and generated more than $445 million in government revenue.
Altogether there were more than 218,200 long-term (staying for at least six months) international students in Canada in 2010, generating more than $6.9 billion to the Canadian economy. It is estimated that nearly 37 percent of that revenue came from two countries – China and South Korea. As of December 2010 there were 56,900 Chinese and 24,600 South Korean citizens in Canada undertaking a formal education program. Ontario and BC hosted nearly two thirds of the international students in Canada (85,300 and 60,500 respectively) while Quebec was a distant third.
Short term students who pursued language training also contributed an estimated $788 million to the Canadian economy.
Overall, the total amount that international students spend in Canada ($8.0 billion) is greater than our export of unwrought aluminium ($6 billion), and even greater than our export of helicopters, airplanes and spacecraft ($6.9 billion) to all other countries.
When the value of educational services provided in Canada to international students is compared to the value of the more traditional goods that Canada exports, the impact for some countries is even more striking. The Saudi Arabians, for example, spend the equivalent of 44% of the value of the goods they import from Canada on educational services. Similarly, we see that South Korea (19.1%), China (13.9%), India (27.9%), and France (14.2%) all spend significantly for educational services when compared to the trade in goods they import from Canada.
In total, the annual expenditure of $8.0 billion by international students translated to estimates of almost $4.9 billion worth of contribution to GDP, 86,570 jobs, and $455 million of government tax revenue.
|Prince Edward Island||$27,760,000||$6,191,000||60||$621,400|
|Yukon, Northwest |
|Additional Tourism |
The quantitative results are summarized below.
Summary Table II Value of International Education Services by Top Ten Countries by Level of Study, 2010
Click to view full size version of Summary Table II
We have also examined the value of education services versus the total exports to each of these same countries. Canada’s international education services for long-term students alone contribute to the equivalent of 1.7% of Canada’s total export in goods to the world. However, for top international student source countries such as China, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia, Canada’s international education services to these countries contribute to more than 10% of Canada’s export in goods to these countries.
|Area/Country||All Long-Term Students||All Exports in Goods||Educational Services as % of All Goods Exports|
|Top 10 Areas||$4,786,774,000||$338,816,901,000||1.4%|
Source: RKA Estimates based on DFAIT data
This report provides evidence showing that international students make a very significant contribution to the Canadian economy, job base and government revenues. Therefore, it is important to get more consistent, complete and accurate data on students and their expenditures in Canada. Such data is not readily available now. Therefore, we put forward the following recommendations:
View/download the complete Economic Impact of International Education in Canada - An Update report: