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ARCHIVED - Economic Impact of International Education in Canada - An Update

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Appendix 1 Reconciliation of RKA Estimates with Valuation by Statistics Canada

Statistics Canada reported that Canada's international student services was valued at $3.51 billion in 2010.  In this appendix, we will reconcile our estimates of international education services shown in Table 13 and Table 14 with Statistics Canada's valuation.

We have been advised that Statistics Canada's valuation of international students in 2010 was based on the number of international students in post-secondary system of 118,870.  A breakdown of Statistics Canada's valuation indicates that average expenditure on tuition was $17,263, $11,437 on food and rent, and $832 on supplies.  Average total expenditure per student was therefore $29,532, for an academic year (8 months).

In RKA's calculation, for the same type of students (equivalent to the sum of students in Trade, University, and Other Post Secondary levels of study), average tuition cost was $18,406, $7,976 on food and rent, $779 on transportation, and $2,500 for discretionary spending.  Average total expenditure was $29,661.  These figures are for one academic year, eight months.  If we had applied a value of 118,870 for the number of students, the resulting total expenditure for this population of students would have been $3.52 billion, similar to Statistics Canada's valuation.  However, for estimating the number of post secondary students in Canada in 2010, we have relied upon values from Citizenship and Immigration Canada's estimate of the "stock" of foreign students as of December 1 of 2010.  Total number of students from this source indicates that there were 174,060 students who held a valid student permit pursuing post secondary training in Canada.  Therefore, total expenditure was valued at $5.16 billion.

As detailed in the report, we have assumed that even though estimates from Statistics Canada's Tuition and Living Accommodation Costs (TLAC) survey for "Room and Meal" are for an eight-month period, international students are most likely to stay for the whole calendar year.  Therefore we have applied a factor of 12/8=1.5 to scale up the cost of food and accommodation.  With this adjustment, total expenditure for post secondary level international students became $5.86 billion.

In addition to post secondary students, we have included students in the K-12 system (with expenditure on tuition and homestay for 10 months), and other students whose level of study was not clear, but who were included in CIC data.  Total expenditure for these "long-term" students (meaning that they are required by CIC to hold a valid student permit while they stay in Canada for pursuing study longer than six months in a calendar year) was $6.92 billion.

The last segment of international student population refers to "short-term" students who do not require a student permit to pursuing training generally shorter than six months long.  These students would include those pursuing language training, or other short term vocational training.  For practical reasons, we have only data from Languages Canada and therefore have valued expenditure from this source.  For these 110,157 students who studied for up to 24 weeks in 2010 (see Table 7), total number of student weeks was estimated at 1,134,638, and total expenditure at $788 million (Table 14).

Combining long-term and short-term students yields a total expenditure value of $7.71 billion in RKA's estimate.

Table 1
Reconciliation of RKA Estimates with Statistics Canada Valuation
Average Annual Expenditures
Food & Rent
Total Expenditures
($ Millions)
Statistics Canada118,87017,26311,437832nil29,5323,510.50
Switch to RKA costs +1,143-3,461-53-2,50012915.3
Switch to RKA # of students+55,190    29,6611,637.0
Switch to 12-month
food & rent
174,060 +3,988   694.2
Add K-12 students35,140    21,710762.9
Add other long-term students9,045    33,390302.0
Add short-term
RKA Expenditure of international students  7,711.6

* uses number of student weeks and weekly expenditures per student

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