AT A BUSY Languages Canada conference
earlier this year, the chair of the association’s
advocacy committee Gary Gervais told The
PIE Review that despite its enormous success, the Ca-nadian
international education industry doesn’t get the
recognition he feels it deserves.
“In the aerospace industry, if someone sneezes it usually
makes front page news,” he said. “International education
in Canada now is bigger than aerospace in terms of econo-mic
impact, yet we rarely get recognition in society.”
The country might not yet get the recognition it deserves
outside the international education space, but within, it has
dominated headlines with a prevailing message of growth.
At the same conference, a delighted trade commissioner
announced that Canada had reached its goal to host more
than 450,000 students as of December 2017 – a target that
was set for 2022.
And with attractive post-study work policies in place,
a reputation for quality education, a welcoming environ-ment
and shifts in global competition, the country’s boom
period looks set to continue.
Growth is all around
If 2017 was the year of records, 2018 promises to be even
bigger. Over the first seven months of 2018, 38 per cent
more student permits became effective compared with the
same period last year, according to IRCC data.
All sectors have been growing – and not only in terms of
student numbers. “There has been a tremendous amount
of growth in the last decade in every aspect of interna-tionalisation
– recruitment, research partnerships, joint
programming, collaborations, even internationalisation at
home,” Universities Canada assistant director of interna-tional
relations Cindy McIntyre tells The PIE.
In the community college sector, both English and
French-speaking institutions are active in international de-velopment
projects and are busy forging partnerships, Col-leges
and Institutes Canada CEO, Denise Amyot, agrees.
The association has also been active promoting the
sector internationally. “People in the past didn’t have a
good understanding of what colleges and institutes offer…
now we have the fastest growth enrolment at international
level,” Amyot underlines.
The proportion of international students in the sector
has doubled to eight per cent over 10 years, she adds.
Languages Canada, which introduced new membership
criteria to reinforce its identity as a national association
of quality language education providers at this year’s
conference, also registered a healthy 10 per cent growth in
student numbers across its membership.
ISSUE #20 | THE PIE REVIEW | 25