International students from Africa are almost four times more likely to want to stay in Canada after graduation than students from the United States.
That’s one conclusion of a new study that examined why students come to Canada and what factors influence their intention to become permanent residents. The report, Retaining International Students in Canada Post-Graduation: Understanding the Motivations and Drivers of the Decision to Stay was published by the Canadian Bureau for International Education this month.
It found that before students arrive, almost seven out of every 10 report that they hope to become permanent residents of Canada. More than half say they are interested in becoming permanent residents because Canada has better job opportunities and almost 60 per cent report they are interested in settling in Canada because of this country’s high standard of living.
The study also looked at which international students are most interested in becoming permanent residents after they actually begin their studies. Highlights include:
- College students are more likely than university students to want to stay.
- Students from Africa and the Middle East are more likely to want to stay than students from the United States.
- International students attending schools in the Prairies are more likely to want to stay than international students in British Columbia.
- Students who believe Canada is a safe place to live are more likely to want to stay.
- International students who worked or did a co-op placement during their studies are more likely to want to stay.
The study found that academic success and gender were not relevant factors in students’ desire to stay in Canada.
The report is based on an analysis of two surveys. A survey conducted last fall by World Education Services looked at what factors influence a prospective student to choose Canada. That survey was answered by 287 prospective students, most of them from Brazil, India and Nigeria. The other survey was conducted by the Canadian Bureau for International Education in 2015. It included responses from 3,422 international students studying in Canada.