International students contribute billions to economy, says study

by | Oct 18, 2018 | Biz/Tech

Pirasanth Gunasekaram
Biz/Tech Reporter

International students play an important part financially to Humber College and to Canada.The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) said international students contribute billions of dollars to the Canadian economy. “International education is critical to Canada’s success,” CASA said.

Inviting international students into Canadian classrooms and laboratories helps create new jobs and opportunities for Canadians, CASA wrote in a report. This is due to international students addressing a skill and labour shortage.

Gursharan Singh, a second year Business Management student, said he’s helping Canada’s financial growth because he pays more tuition than domestic students.

“Being an international student the amount of fees we are paying is significant because we are paying with our home countries’ currency,” Singh said.

Rani Dhaliwal, Humber College’s Senior Vice President of Planning and Corporate Services, said this year they received more international students than expected. This influx of students adds to Humber’s surplus of funds.

Andrew Ness, Humber College’s Dean of International, said he isn’t surprised how much money international students give to the economy because the number of international students increases every year.

“Twenty years ago, the number of students who are studying away from their home country to Canada was 1.5 million. By 2015 the estimated number would go up to five million and that will go up by an estimate of eight million from 2015 to 2025,” Ness said.

The Growing Impact report commissioned by the Toronto-based Intergovernmental Committee for Economic and Labour Force Development, said Canada was ranked fourth as a destination country for international students worldwide last year.

“The fact that international students are coming to Canada isn’t surprising to me because there are more favourable opportunities to students and their families compared to other countries in the world,” Ness said.

He said it’s also not a surprise that international students are coming to Humber because it’s a polytechnic.

“Humber gives a variety of advanced education credentials so it’s not surprising that international students want to come here,” Ness said.

Sarah Wayland and Ilene Hyman, who wrote the Growing Impact report, said there were 494,525 international students in Canada in 2017, which is a 119 per cent increase from 2010-2017. This is also a 20 per cent increase from 2016.

Ness said the biggest reason why international students pay more for school is because they don’t get the same benefits as domestic students.

“International students pay for their whole tuition while domestic students pay half of their tuition and the other were paid from the Canadian government,” Ness said.