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What motivates Foreign Students to stay in Canada after graduation?

Whether they are currently studying in Canada or looking to study, foreign students are highly motivated to stay in Canada, a media report suggests.

The report titled, “Retaining Foreign Students in Canada Post-Graduation: Understanding the Drivers and Motivations of the Decision to Stay,” is based on two research surveys: A survey of prospective foreign students coming to Canada: A Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) and a World Education Services (WES) Survey of international students presently studying at Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Survey results showed more than Fifty (50) per cent of prospective international students who responded to the survey plan to file for permanent residence of Canada and work in there after they graduate.

foreign students
Credit: Canadian Bureau for International Education, June 2018

Some of the reasons prospective Foreign students gave for desiring to apply for Canadian permanent residence include good job opportunities and Canada’s better standard of living compared to their home country.

Once in Canada, international students always have the desire to apply for Canadian permanent residence and work in Canada after they graduate. The CBIE survey report found a 50/50 chance that respondents will file in for permanent residency after graduation and a good percentage plan to work in Canada after graduation.

The aim of the CBIE survey was to find out how international students experience studying in Canada’s higher institutions.

The researchers claim that students who come to Canada from less advance/affluent countries are more likely to stay due to the possibility of finding better job prospects.

The following are some other findings cited in the report:

  • Foreign students from the Middle East and Africa are nearly three times more likely to file for Canadian permanent residence when compared to other students from the US or UK.
  • Foreign students who had reported they have Canadian friends were more likely to show an intention to apply for Canadian permanent residence than those who only have students from their native countries as friends.
  • Students registered in an institute or college are more likely to shows an intention to file in for Canadian permanent residence than those enrolled in the university.
  • Foreign students studying in the Prairie region of Canada demonstrate more interest in applying for permanent residence than students studying in other parts of Canada.
  • Students who viewed Canada as a secure and safer country were more likely to demonstrate an intention to file in for permanent residence and plan to work after graduation.

The survey says that the strong relationship between working in Canada and intentions to apply for permanent residence reveals international students who do stay in the country will pursue work and as a result will contribute to the growth of Canadian economy.

The Canadian government has time and again referred to students coming from foreign countries as “ideal candidates” for Canada immigration because of their language skills in any of Canada’s official languages, their educational credentials in Canada, and their Canadian work experience.

The Canadian government have also declared its intention to corporate with territorial and provincial governments, Canadian educational institutions, and principal stakeholders to grow the number of foreign students from 239,131 in 2011 to more than 450,000 by 2022.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship report released earlier this year shows that Canada exceeded that 2022 target at the end of 2017. The presence of foreign students in Canada has proven to be beneficial for the country’s economy.