Student admissions in public universities and colleges of Canada increased for the fourth academic year in a row in 2018/2019. It is led solely by enrollments of foreign students.
About 2.1 million students were enrolled at Canadian public universities and colleges in the 2018/2019 academic year, up 1.8 percent from the previous year. This was attributable to a 16.2 percent growth in foreign student enrollments over the same time span (+47,952), while Canadian student enrollments dropped by 0.5 percent (-8,301).
The overwhelming majority (91.6 percent) of enrollments were in formal programs, while 8.4 percent of enrollments were in non-formal activity such as continuing education or courses of personal interest.
International student enrollment in formal programs more than tripled over a 10-year period, whereas Canadian student enrollment grew at a slower rate.
Foreign students are contributing more and more to the post-secondary landscape of Canada. Enrollments for Canadian students in formal programs have grown by 10.9 percent over the last decade from the academic period from 2008/2009 to 2018/2019 (from 1,486,602 to 1,648,923).
The number of foreign students has more than tripled during the same period, from 101,304 in 2008/2009 to 318,153 in 2018/2019. As a result, the proportion of foreign student enrollments rose from 6.4 % to 16.2 % by 2018/2019 over a decade.
Enrollments in Mathematics, Computer Science and Information Science Increased.
There were variations in the field of study over a 10-year stretch. Canadian and foreign students enrollment rose by 24.2% overall.
Mathematics, Computer Technology and Information Science programs accounted for 5.0% of all enrollments in 2018/2019. The growth in this area of study was the highest in the past decade (+102.7%). The number of students growing from 47,748 in 2008/2009 to 96,768 in 2018/2019.
This represents the increased digitization of society in general. Employment associated with the digital economy rised by 37.0%. It is even more than the overall economy of 8.6 % according to a new survey.
The largest drop in enrollment came in programs in the humanities. These programs accounted for 11.0% of all enrollments in 2018/2019. The overall number of students participating in these programs fell by 19.4%, from 266,229 to 214,5039, over the last decade.
Foreign students led the Business management and Public administration program growth
Course enrollments for foreign and Canadian students over the last decade varied. For instance, while humanities enrollment declined for Canadian students (-25.2%). Whereas it increased for foreign students (+106.1%).
Business, management and public administration courses are consistently the top area of study for Canadian and International students. The growth was largely driven by foreign student enrollments.
The percentage rise in foreign student enrollment in this area of study (+216.5 percent) significantly outpaced the increase in Canadian students (+7.7 percent) from 2008/2009 to 2018/2019. As a consequence, much of the overall enrollment increase (+87,948) was driven by foreign students (+65,868).
Health programs and associated areas in 2018/2019 were a common option for Canadian students than foreign students. Enrollment growth in these programs was led by Canadian students from 2008/2009 to 2018/2019. It accounts for 86.2 % of the growth in these sectors (61,170 out of 70,968).