Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
22nd Nov 2023

International enrolment in Canadian K-12 recovered to more than 80% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022/23

Short on time? Here are the highlights:
  • International enrolment in Canadian public K-12 schools grew significantly in 2022/23
  • Half of the Top 20 source market countries for long-term programmes (ranging from one semester to a full year) sent more students than ever before
  • China remains the top source country for long-term programmes, while Colombia is now the top sender of students to short-term programmes of less than a semester

Canada’s K-12 public schools enrolled just over 33,000 foreign students in 2022/23. That total includes nearly 29,000 in longer-term programmes of up to a year in duration and another 4,500 in short-term studies (that is, for less than a full semester). Those figures come from the latest annual survey of members of The Canadian Association of Public Schools – International (CAPS-I), and they represent year-over-year growth of 15% for longer-term enrolments and 88% for short-term students. CAPS-I also notes that their membership now includes significantly more Francophone schools.

The top ten sending markets for Canadian K-12 public schools, 2016/17–2022/23. Source: CAPS-I

With that growth in 2022/23, foreign enrolment in Canada's public K-12 schools has now recovered to roughly 82% of pre-pandemic levels.

Long-term programmes

The top source country for Canadian K-12 schools enrolling students in long-term programmes remains China, which sent more students than in 2021/22 but which is still much less of a contributor than in previous years. Half of the countries in the Top 20 sent more students in 2022/23 than they had done before the pandemic, including Germany, Italy, Spain, Hong Kong, Thailand, Belgium, France, Switzerland, United States, and Chile. The Top 10 sending markets are outlined in the chart below.

The top ten sending markets for Canadian K-12 public schools, 2016/17–2022/23. Source: CAPS-I

Short-term programmes

Japan has long been the top source country for short-term K-12 enrolments in Canada, but in 2022/23 Colombia displaced it. Despite overall growth year-over-year, short-term enrolments from the key markets of Japan, China, South Korea, and Mexico have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. By contrast, Thailand and France are now sending many more students than in 2019/20. 

Top source countries for Canadian K-12 schools (short-term programmes of less than a semester) in 2022/23. Source: CAPS-I

Distribution of students

As in the higher education sector, Ontario and British Columbia (BC) host by far the greatest proportion of K-12 students from abroad. Most students are enrolled in long-term programmes in these provinces. In other provinces such as Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Newfoundland & Labrador, there is notably more balance between long-term and short-term enrolments, even if the former still exceed the latter.

Distribution of international K-12 students in Canada, 2022/23. Source: CAPS-I

For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • The impact of immigration settings, affordability, and job opportunities on international students’ study abroad decisions Read More
  • Hong Kong needs to build more student housing Read More
  • ChatGPT for international education marketing: What is “Prompt Engineering?” Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Hong Kong needs to build more student housing In his October 2023 address, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee set out some ambitious goals for the...
Read more
Canadian immigration minister releases official cap figures and targets for 2024 In many respects, the implementation of Canada’s newly established cap on international student enrolment has been shrouded in...
Read more
Australia: Record-high foreign enrolment but tighter immigration settings now taking hold The Australian government has further increased its scrutiny of international student applicants in an effort to ensure incoming...
Read more
Business school survey again signals declining non-EU enrolment in UK The most recent survey from the Chartered Association of Business Schools in the UK reveals that, “International student...
Read more
US study visa refusals reached record levels in 2023 More than a third of prospective international students applying to study in the US last year were turned...
Read more
Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Since the Canadian government’s announcement in January that it would be capping the number of new study permits...
Read more
Canada: Ontario’s cap implementation plan allocates nearly all study permit applications to public colleges and universities On 26 February 2024, the Government of Ontario – Canada’s most-populous province and host to just over half of...
Read more
New Zealand’s international enrolment continued to recover in 2023 New Zealand’s international education sector welcomed significantly more students in 2023 than in 2022, according to data released...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links