Building on Success: Canada's International Education Strategy (2019-2024)

Executive Summary

International education makes a large and growing contribution to Canada’s prosperity.

The new International Education Strategy builds on the attributes that make Canada a powerhouse in international education: high quality schools and programs of study in both English and French; peaceful, welcoming and diverse communities; an enviable quality of life; opportunities to work and start careers; and pathways to permanent residency.

To ensure a sustainable international education sector, the new Strategy will aim, over the next five years, to diversify the education sector, boost Canada’s innovation capacity, promote global ties and foster a vibrant Canadian economy.  

The Strategy will also help ensure that Canada’s labour force has the needed skills and talent to enable Canada to compete successfully in global markets, creating middle-class jobs and fostering prosperity in communities across the country.

Canada’s new International Education Strategy has three key objectives:

  • Encourage Canadian students to gain new skills through study and work abroad opportunities in key global markets, especially Asia;
  • Diversify the countries from which international students come to Canada, as well as their fields, levels of study, and location of study within Canada; and
  • Increase support for Canadian education sector institutions to help grow their export services and explore new opportunities abroad.

To implement the Strategy, the Government of Canada allocated $147.9 million over five years, followed by $8 million per year of ongoing funding.

International Education Strategy Initiatives

Global Affairs Canada

Targeted digital marketing strategyAttract students from a wider diversity of countries to a greater diversity of schools and programs of study
Enhanced support by the Trade Commissioner ServiceGreater support for education clients leads to increased sales and licensing of Canadian educational services and products abroad.
Additional scholarships for international students to study in CanadaAttract select students by targeting countries, programs and schools; strengthen bilateral relations
Consolidate existing scholarships under a cohesive, strengthened narrativeAttract additional international students; support Canada’s education brand

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Increased promotion of International Experience Canada (IEC) programGreater awareness among young Canadians about opportunities to work and travel abroad through IEC
Expand Student Direct Stream to additional countriesAttract more international students from target countries.
Modernize immigration forms and processesImproved client services for those who seek to visit or study, work or stay in Canada

Employment and Social Development Canada

Outbound Student Mobility PilotUp to 11,000 more Canadians study and work abroad, acquiring the skills, intercultural competencies and international networks essential to their careers and economic growth, with financial support ranging from $5,000 to $10,000/year.

Read the full Strategy