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THE CANADIAN EDUCATION MARKET

This piece outlines some good reasons why you should consider Canada in your international student recruitment strategy.

If you're interested in recruiting Canadian students, we encourage you to read on. And if you'd like to tap into our database of over 1.2 million students, including 23,000+ who are interested in studying outside Canada, please let us know. We can help you reach the Canadian market through our fairs or our digital recruitment solutions.

Canada's Population is Growing Quickly

Canada's population has grown by 5.8% or over 2 million people since 2022 to more than 41 million people in 2024.

From 2013 to 2022, Canada's population grew by 11% - in comparison to the UK, which grew by 4.4% and the US by 5.5%.

Of the 13 provinces and territories in Canada, the province of Ontario has the largest population, with 39% of the total. It is followed by Quebec (where both French and English are spoken), British Columbia, and Alberta.

Canadian Population, as of May 2024

Provinces and territories Population %
Newfoundland and Labrador 542,429 1%
Prince Edward Island 177,366 0%
Nova Scotia 1,080,727 3%
New Brunswick 853,411 2%
Quebec 9,057,582 22%
Ontario 16,071,493 39%
Manitoba 1,490,641 4%
Saskatchewan 1,234,648 3%
Alberta 4,878,361 12%
British Columbia 5,663,123 14%
Yukon 45,857 0%
Northwest Territories 44,496 0%
Nunavut 40,357 0%
TOTAL in 2024 41,180,491 100%

In 2023, 42% of the Canadian population was between 0 and 34 years old. And of that number, 4,849,906 were between the ages of 15-24 - an increase of 5% from 2022.

Canadians Value Education

Canada ranks second behind Korea with 67% of the population between the ages of 25-34 years old having a tertiary education.

Rank Country %
1 Korea 69.6%
2 Canada 67.0%
3 Japan 65.7%
4 Ireland 63.3%
5 Luxembourg 60.0%

Canadian Higher Education

There were over 2.1 million students studying at the tertiary level in Canada in 2021-22. The fastest growing segment over the past 5 years was Doctoral studies at 14.4%, followed by Master's studies at 12.9%.

International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 6 2021 / 2022 5-Year Change
Total, International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2,196,468 3.8%
Upper secondary education 22,038 -20.4%
Post-secondary non-tertiary education 236,280 -6.4%
Short-cycle tertiary education 412,269 6.6%
Bachelor's or equivalent 1,110,567 6.0%
Master's or equivalent 229,212 12.9%
Doctoral or equivalent 61,800 14.4%
Not applicable, International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 124,299 -14.2%

There are over 240 publicly funded colleges and universities in Canada. There are many more privately funded colleges. Education is governed by provincial and territorial governments, and is supported by federal scholarships, grants, and loans.

Colleges predominantly offer 2-year diploma programs and universities predominantly offer bachelor, masters and doctoral programs. You'll find a Canadian education system explainer here.

Fields of Study Breakdown

Across all levels of tertiary education, the fastest growing programs are in computer and information sciences, mathematics, and engineering. The largest segments are health professions, business, and liberal arts.

Field of Study 2021 / 2022 Since 2011%
Military science, leadership and operational art 222 362.5%
Computer and information sciences and support services 103,161 172.6%
Mathematics and statistics 20,547 75.0%
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies 9,228 44.5%
Engineering 135,756 40.6%
Psychology 69,477 34.6%
Multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary studies 108,033 30.9%
Science technologies/technicians 4,059 30.3%
Biological and biomedical sciences 85,206 30.0%
Health professions and related programs (except cannabis) 224,859 24.6%
Agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences (except cannabis) 12,588 22.9%
Natural resources and conservation 20,649 21.7%
Transportation and materials moving 3,930 21.4%
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences 48,294 20.1%
Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies 41,526 18.8%
Business, management, marketing and related support services (except cannabis) 386,250 18.3%
Architecture and related services 17,253 16.4%
Engineering technologies and engineering-related fields 55,473 16.1%
Legal professions and studies 32,478 13.3%
Public administration and social service professions (except cannabis) 41,796 9.6%
Health-related knowledge and skills (not for credit) 1,407 8.3%
Security and protective services 32,871 8.3%
Physical sciences 26,328 6.9%
Social sciences 101,499 6.3%
Personal and culinary services (except cannabis) 9,474 5.0%
Education 100,524 0.4%
Military technologies and applied sciences .. 0.0%
Citizenship activities (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Interpersonal and social skills (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Cannabis-related instructional programs 114 0.0%
Communications technologies/technicians and support services 9,369 -0.4%
Dental, medical and veterinary residency programs 14,463 -1.7%
Visual and performing arts 71,019 -1.7%
Precision production 4,305 -4.7%
Leisure and recreational activities (not for credit) 3,027 -4.7%
Construction trades 7,587 -4.7%
Communication, journalism and related programs 28,608 -9.5%
Theology and religious vocations 2,937 -10.0%
Mechanic and repair technologies/technicians 13,995 -14.7%
Philosophy and religious studies 8,346 -15.2%
High school/secondary diploma and certificate programs 31,851 -16.0%
Pre-technology education/pre-industrial arts programs 759 -17.3%
Unclassified 8 73,608 -19.6%
English language and literature/letters 15,480 -22.4%
Library science 2,580 -23.4%
French language and literature/letters 4,902 -28.6%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities 175,569 -28.7%
History 12,897 -29.9%
Aboriginal and foreign languages, literatures and linguistics 11,148 -45.2%
Basic skills (not for credit) 10,971 -46.1%
Personal awareness and self-improvement (not for credit) 48 -94.0%
Total, field of study 2,196,468 9.9%

Master's Level

At the Master's level, computer and information sciences, engineering, and health professions top the fastest growing list.

Field of Study 2021 / 2022 Since 2011%
Unclassified 3,318 3152.9%
Computer and information sciences and support services 9,210 152.3%
Engineering technologies and engineering-related fields 570 131.7%
Security and protective services 657 95.5%
Multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary studies 4,986 77.4%
Engineering 21,729 60.0%
Health professions and related programs (except cannabis) 44,124 46.5%
Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies 1,962 28.7%
Business, management, marketing and related support services (except cannabis) 34,164 27.1%
Education 23,106 25.4%
Communications technologies/technicians and support services 63 23.5%
Psychology 4,035 20.4%
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences 849 19.9%
Mathematics and statistics 1,491 17.8%
Legal professions and studies 16,890 17.2%
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies and humanities 585 16.8%
Biological and biomedical sciences 7,389 15.3%
Public administration and social service professions (except cannabis) 8,031 13.1%
Social sciences 7,872 13.1%
Architecture and related services 3,222 12.7%
Natural resources and conservation 3,285 10.8%
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies 1,086 8.7%
Agriculture, agriculture operations and related sciences (except cannabis) 1,080 4.7%
Communication, journalism and related programs 2,016 4.3%
Physical sciences 3,261 3.4%
Visual and performing arts 3,516 1.0%
Science technologies/technicians .. 0.0%
Transportation and materials moving 3 0.0%
Health-related knowledge and skills (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Personal and culinary services (except cannabis) 18 0.0%
Military technologies and applied sciences .. 0.0%
Citizenship activities (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Interpersonal and social skills (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Cannabis-related instructional programs .. 0.0%
Precision production .. 0.0%
Leisure and recreational activities (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Construction trades 27 0.0%
Mechanic and repair technologies/technicians .. 0.0%
High school/secondary diploma and certificate programs .. 0.0%
Pre-technology education/pre-industrial arts programs .. 0.0%
Basic skills (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Personal awareness and self-improvement (not for credit) .. 0.0%
Dental, medical and veterinary residency programs 14,418 -1.9%
Aboriginal and foreign languages, literatures and linguistics 1,056 -5.1%
Theology and religious vocations 819 -7.5%
Philosophy and religious studies 1,071 -8.5%
Military science, leadership and operational art 21 -12.5%
History 1,017 -16.1%
English language and literature/letters 921 -16.1%
French language and literature/letters 651 -17.2%
Library science 705 -42.3%
Total, field of study 229,212 29.4%

Canadian Student Mobility

11% of Canadian undergraduate students study abroad. In the 2020-2021 academic year, Canada was the fourth largest source of international students enrolled in higher education institutions in the United States, with 25,143 students.

In 2023, Canada ranked in the top 10 of non-EU countries sending students to the UK with 7,485 Canadian students.

SchoolFinder Group / Recruit in Canada Student Database

There are over 23,000 Canadian students from our database who indicated an interest in studying in one or more countries outside Canada over the last year and half. Over 40 countries are represented with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany being the top 5.

Country Number of Students %
Anguilla 4,378 18.5%
Antigua and Barbuda 4,456 18.8%
Aruba 3,736 15.8%
Australia 8,074 34.1%
Austria 5,353 22.6%
Barbados 4,646 19.6%
Belgium 5,754 24.3%
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba - 0.0%
Cayman Islands 4,124 17.4%
China 5,096 21.5%
Curaçao - 0.0%
Cyprus 4,630 19.6%
Czech Republic 4,735 20.0%
Dominica 1,250 5.3%
Fiji 2,154 9.1%
France 7,745 32.7%
Germany 7,440 31.4%
Greece 5,856 24.7%
Grenada 4,534 19.2%
Guatemala 4,505 19.0%
Hong Kong 965 4.1%
Hungary 4,767 20.1%
Ireland 6,680 28.2%
Israel 4,488 19.0%
Italy 7,196 30.4%
Japan 6,259 26.4%
Kazakhstan 1,997 8.4%
Korea, Republic of 5,522 23.3%
Liechtenstein - 0.0%
Luxembourg 3,368 14.2%
Malaysia 3,904 16.5%
Netherlands 6,718 28.4%
New Zealand 6,443 27.2%
Nicaragua 21 0.1%
Poland 4,969 21.0%
Portugal 5,063 21.4%
Saint Kitts and Nevis 3,710 15.7%
Saint Lucia 3,367 14.2%
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3,295 13.9%
Saudi Arabia 3,420 14.4%
Singapore 4,058 17.1%
Spain 5,107 21.6%
Sweden 5,214 22.0%
Switzerland 5,680 24.0%
Thailand 3,132 13.2%
United Kingdom 11,198 47.3%
United States 16,190 68.4%
United Arab Emirates 3,486 14.7%
Total Number of Students 23,676

We hope that helps!

For more information on how we can help you can reach our community of Canadian Students interested in studying in your country, contact us at:

The SchoolFinder Group Team info@schoolfindergroup.com

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