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International Students Contribute Over $6.5 Billion to Canadian Economy

(No. 319 - October 28, 2009 - 11:10 a.m. EDT) The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today released a study showing that international students contributed more than $6.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 2008. This is the first time a dollar figure has been attached to the economic impact of international students in Canada.

“International students provide a significant boost to Canada’s economy,” said Minister Day. “Their presence helps create thousands of jobs and generates billions in revenue. Our government will continue its efforts to promote Canada as the destination of choice for international students by enhancing outreach efforts at our missions around the world.”

The findings are part of a report entitled Economic Impact of International Education in Canada prepared by Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Inc., for the Government of Canada. The report was commissioned by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and released today by Minister Day at a meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

The number of international students in Canada has more than doubled since 1998 to 178,000, and their presence provided employment for over 83,000 Canadians last year.

In November 2008, the Government of Canada, in collaboration with the provinces, announced the launch of a new branding campaign aimed at attracting more international students. It conveys the message that a Canadian education opens doors to opportunities.

“In addition to attracting students to Canada, our government has also made tremendous strides in issuing study permits in key markets,” said Minister Day. “We are seeing rising approval rates in places like China and India. We have also established policies and programs that help international students gain valuable work experience during their study term and help meet skill and labour needs of Canadian employers.”

These efforts support the government’s commitment to international education under its Global Commerce Strategy. Canada has seen a 7‑percent increase in international students since 2007.

To view the report, visit Economic Impact of International Education in Canada.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada