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Canada Scores as Top Destination for International Students According to New Study

Almost 60% of international students interested in studying in Canada are fully vaccinated and an additional 33% will get their vaccines as soon as they can, according to research released today. Additionally, 83% are willing to quarantine upon arrival to ensure safety on campus.

The numbers, compiled by IDP Connect, are welcome news as universities and colleges across the country grapple with reopening scenarios.

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The key findings from our International Student Crossroads V research are available to download as an infographic report here:

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Canada was ranked as the overall top destination by international students in the same research. It scored top marks in five of the six categories, including welfare of international students, policies for international students, post-study work-visa policies, safety of citizens and visitors and economic stability. It came second to New Zealand for best response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The findings are part of the fifth installment of IDP Connect’s International Student Crossroads research, which has examined the attitudes and behaviours of more than 4,000 international student applicants, offer holders and current students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other destinations rated in the study included Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“Canada continues to lead the world in terms of being seen as a welcoming destination for international students,” says Jonah Duffin, Director of External Relations. “Not only do students from around the world want to come here, but when they get here, they are satisfied with their decision,” he adds.

According to the research, Canadian post-secondary institutions can expect increased numbers of international student enrolment, with 79% of students saying they expect to start their studies as planned this fall. Even if Canadian schools can’t initiate full-time, in-person classes, students are more committed to studying here than in any of the other countries included in the study. Almost half (49%) of respondents say they are unlikely to switch destinations to gain face-to-face instruction, while the average for students committed to studying in the remaining four countries is 39%.

“Canada policy makers and educators should be commended for how they have shown care for students, visitors and citizens,” says Duffin. “This research demonstrates students are showing increased loyalty towards Canada as their destination. This is something the Canada sector can be very proud of,” he adds.

Another interesting find in the latest research is that vaccine hesitancy amongst students has markedly declined since the previous survey. Only 9% of all respondents stated that they need more information before being vaccinated in this study, compared to 30% in March-April this year.

Additional findings from the research include:

  • 74% of students interested in Canada say that the availability of vaccines to international students on arrival makes travelling to their destination more attractive.

  • The number of students who are fully vaccinated and interested in Canada is slightly higher than that of students interested in study elsewhere in the world (59% vs. 50%).

  • 71% say the fact that Canada recently clarified its policies regarding vaccinations and quarantine procedures has made them more likely to study here. (24% say the announcement has had no impact, while 4% say it has made them less likely to study in Canada).

  • 39% are willing to pay the full cost of quarantine in Canada and 39% a portion of the cost.

  • 38% of those interested in coming to Canada prefer to quarantine in a government hotel, while 35% prefer university-run accommodation, and 27% have no preference.

Media Inquiries:

NATIONAL Public Relations, Andrea Chrysanthou, achrysanthou@national.ca, 416-797-8194

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 to address the key challenges faced by higher education.

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