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Canada increasingly attractive to global students – IDP

Canada has come out on top of a new IDP research paper on global study destinations, due to its safe environment and government policies which are seen as warm and welcoming.

Canada's safety and position as a welcoming nation makes it a top study destination, according to new IDP research. Photo: Flickr/Abi KCanada's safety and position as a welcoming nation makes it a top study destination, according to new IDP research. Photo: Flickr/Abi K

The rise of Canada was the main reason that both Australia and New Zealand lost out

IDP’s Student Buyer Behaviour research looked at the top five English-speaking destination countries, and examined how 4,200 mobile students rated a range of the nations’ drivers, including safety, affordability, education quality, and graduate employability.

Canada is highlighted in the report as a destination experiencing momentum in the global study market, while the US lost out in regard to safety, affordability, visa requirements, and graduate employment opportunities.

“We haven’t changed too much. Canada’s always been a safe and clean destination”

The UK was not hit as hard as some may expect by the choice to leave the European Union, but the research does indicate that it is seen as a less safe study travel destination in 2017.

The research, now in its sixth iteration, was released by IDP Education’s head of research Lyndell Jacka at the Australian International Education Conference in Hobart.

It reveals that although Australian affordability remains a concern to some students, the rise of Canada was the main reason that both Australia and New Zealand lost out to some extent.

As far as student motivations are concerned, the research breaks the mobile student population down into three main categories. For Indian and Indonesian students, course content quality and post-study work opportunities were priorities.

However, for Vietnamese and Malaysian students, affordability and self-discovery ranked most highly.

On the other hand, Jacka points out that Chinese students are motivated by the reputation and quality of the institution they wish to study at.

“When we explored the number one reason why they chose to study abroad, one in ten Chinese students said ‘study at a high-ranked university’,” she said.

Wendy Luther is the CEO of EduNova, a cooperative effort from institutions and Nova Scotian government to boost the profile of the eastern Canadian province as an education destination.

Luther told The PIE News that Canada’s gain can really be attributed to their continuing message of openness and changes in its neighbour’s demeanour.

“We haven’t changed too much. Canada’s always been a safe and clean destination,” she said.

She pointed out that instead of Canada moving to capitalise on globals events that may make nations like the US or the UK less attractive to international students, EduNova and the Canadian government are taking a consistent approach to marketing and recruitment. And they are feeling the effects.

“We’re going out with the same message… and the students are more respective to [our] message,” Luther said.

But changes to citizenship and employment pathways have had an effect too.

“[Canadian] pathways are becoming more open,” Luther observed. “Last November the rules changed, making more points available for international students. This is not the same approach as what’s happening in the UK and US.”

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