The rate of foreign students enrolling in Canadian schools isn’t back to the pre-pandemic levels just yet that they had been seeing in some areas. In Okanagan, the year-end deficit has increased to $3.9 million because of lower than expected enrolment of foreign students.
This decline in international enrollment is expected to have a significant financial toll on postsecondary institutions around the country and throughout the province of BC. These foreign students contribute hundreds of millions in student fees and more, and this means that schools will see millions in deficits.
International Student Drought
It is anticipated that COVID-19 could inflict some serious long-term damage on the education sector with the significant decrease in international students enrolling. It still might be too early for some to tell how much their enrolment will be impacted. There is a lot of optimism for things to eventually return more to normal as Canada is still one of the top study destinations in the world for international students.
With the COVID-19 restrictions that are still in place surrounding travel though it isn’t going to be as easy as it was pre-pandemic for those international students to go about their schooling just the same. In each province around Canada it is estimated that these international students bring in tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions to the economy.
The pandemic brought on academic challenges, health-care concerns for international students, and travel uncertainty as well.
While the pandemic restrictions have made it more costly for some international students we shouldn’t expect these circumstances to last or the lower foreign enrolment rates to stay down forever.
Back in 2019 it was estimated that some more than 600k international students were studying in Canada at various levels, at the end of the year in 2020 it was around 530k international students in Canada, it fell by about 17%. That drop from enrollment might be easing though and a rebound might not be far off as some postsecondary institutions have reported an uptick again in international student enrolment.
Despite the pandemic difficulties and potential tuition costs rising it looks like 2021 international student growth at some Canadian institutions is up roughly 10%.
The high quality postsecondary institutions around the country don’t have a difficult time at attracting interest from international students around the world with Canada still being one of the top learning destinations for students to go with.