Exclusive content

Logged in users benefit from exclusive intelligence and analysis including premium reports, monthly source market information, on-the-ground intelligence, and IDP research.


Don't have an account? Register

Toronto, ON – October 14, 2021 - New research from IDP Connect finds that more than one-third of students surveyed (39 per cent) rate Canada as their first choice for post-secondary studies, followed by the US and UK (both at 17 per cent) and Australia at 16 per cent. Moreover, 69 per cent of respondents rank Canada as their most considered study destination. The UK comes in a distant second with 48 per cent and Australia and the US are tied in third with 46 per cent each.

The “New Horizons” research, which was conducted by IDP Connect and surveyed 3650 students from 55 countries in late August and early September, highlights Canada’s popularity as a place to live, pursue higher education, and secure employment. *

The research finds that students are mainly motivated by future career opportunities in their study destination, while the decision of which institution to apply to and what subject to study are financially driven: A majority of students who choose Canada as a top option prioritize the ability to work part-time while studying (72 per cent), the affordability of tuition fees (66 per cent), and the cost of living (64 per cent).

An overwhelming 81 per cent of international students surveyed for the research say they are focusing on overseas on-campus options, while 18 per cent of students are comfortable commencing their studies online provided there is a pathway for on-campus learning. Only 10 per cent of respondents say they will consider staying in their home country to complete a fully online-only study program.

Simon Emmett, CEO at IDP Connect, says that countries that offer students clear outcomes for their investment in their education and a pathway to on-campus study will benefit most from the demand for overseas study.

“These latest results reinforce students’ desire to gain an overseas qualification and the rich cultural and educational benefits that come with doing so. However, students want to be clear about the value and the outcomes they will gain. The countries and institutions that can offer and communicate clear pathways to employment or migration will be most popular as the world continues to re-open from the pandemic,” Emmett said.

After waning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in international studies is quickly returning, with 71% of respondents noting that they intend to study abroad within the next year. “As vaccine mandates are implemented and international travel restrictions taper, we’re expecting that Canada will see an influx of international students returning to the country continue participating in the opportunities offered both on and off campus here,” says Jonah Duffin, Director of External Relations, IDP Connect.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Andrea Chrysanthou

NATIONAL Public Relations


About New Horizons

IDP Connect's New Horizons research builds upon the findings of the Crossroads research series and aims to arm the higher education sector, institutions and policy makers with the data and insight needed to drive the post-pandemic rebound in international and overseas student recruitment.

The research was undertaken with 3650 respondents from 55 countries between August 27 – September 10, 2021 and consisted of a 10-minute online survey.

* The findings are consistent with IDP Connect’s earlier Crossroads research series, and highlight a continued commitment to traditional modes of study.

About IDP Connect

IDP Connect is the strategic partner of choice for institutions seeking access to engaged student communities. As part of IDP Education, the world leader in student recruitment, IDP Connect uses its global expertise, data-driven insights and trusted human connections to match universities, schools and colleges with the right students from around the world.

Powered by the world’s most expansive omnichannel platform, we bring institutions to life, from academic offerings to campus experiences and beyond. Through our unmatched physical office network, websites, apps, and virtual counselling solutions, students from all corners of the world form our connected community, along with our expert team of trusted education advisors, and our partner institutions.

IDP Connect’s IQ services offer a helicopter view of the global higher education landscape, using the world’s largest combined data set of student demand. From initial online search, through to application, offer and enrolments, we are able to track global student demand through the full funnel and in real-time, helping institutions address the key challenges faced by higher education.

Download the New Horizons Infographic Report

The key findings from our New Horizons research are available to download as an infographic report here:

CP - Author Image - Meghan Krohn
Meghan Krohn14 October 2021