Category Archives: About Canada

Information about Canada for international students wanting to attend or apply to Canadian Schools, Colleges and Universities. Learn about Canada before you apply to a school in Canada. Canada For School can help you with the application process.

Education in Canada

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Over the last few weeks millions of students around the world have received GCSE O-Level and A-Level results. With this highly sought-after credential in hand, a large number of ambitious students are seeking to continue on to higher education, with many looking abroad for the best opportunities. Canada, as ever, presents some unique advantages. For individuals interested in studying in Canada in 2016, the big question is how to best leverage their O- or A-Level results for entry into a quality Canadian college or university.

Below we have some great considerations when opting for a Canadian International education;

Things to Remember:

  1. Many universities and nearly all public colleges have January intakes. The deadlines begin as early as the end of September, 2015, so all candidates should begin the research and discovery process immediately.
  2. International students will have wait for acceptance letters arrive before applying for a study permit, which can take considerable processing time (depending on the visa office).
  3. In addition to general admissions requirements, each faculty (Science, Arts, Business, for example) will have its own specific entrance averages and on occasion, supplemental requirements, such as essays or an interview.
  4. For families investing in private A-Level boarding school education in their home countries, it may be more sensible financially to fast-track an entry to Canadian post-secondary through one of a number of high school completion programs.
  5. Language Proficiency:  GCSE O-Level English (or GCSE English Language B) is commonly used to meet the English language requirement.
  6. Always submit certified true copies when perfecting your application. However, many schools will accept PDF scans for the basis of initial acceptance, so students should start with those.
  7. Canada presents some unique post-graduation advantages over other developed countries, including the three-year post-graduation open work permit and options for permanent immigration.
  8. Each institution may chose to arbitrate foreign credentials differently. Schools will be the final arbiter of what’s accepted for credit in Canada.
  9. Within Canada there are regional differences in the delivery of education. Notably, Quebec uses its own Senior Secondary and College/Pre-University system, while each of the other provinces has slight variations on the delivery of senior secondary coursework.
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International Students add Brainpower to Research

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They’re bright young minds from around the world — India, Mexico, China — and a record number have been lured here this summer to add brainpower to some of Canada’s most cutting-edge research.

Some 750 international university students — nearly 60 per cent more than last year — are here under a federally funded program called Globalink that pays undergrads to come to Canada for a 12-week summer research stint.

Some 64 are working in the GTA this year, and 357 have come to Toronto’s universities over the past three years.

“The objective is to attract highly qualified undergraduates to do research with a Canadian professor at a Canadian institution, with Canadian research,” said math professor Alejandro Adem, head of the national, non-profit MITACS program that runs Globalink and other research partnerships between Canada and the world.

“Our goal is to attract them back as grad students with fellowships, because in the global competition for talent, this pipeline is very competitive; we’re up against places like Stanford and MIT.

The federal government has provided $20 million over three years to Globalink to bring students to Canada. Students come largely from India, China, Brazil, France, Mexico and Australia.

Here’s a taste of the research one young man is working on in the GTA.

Gustavo Ramirez:Designing robots to land on asteroids

Gustavo Ramirez has come to Canada for research that’s out of this world.

A space buff and computer whiz, the third-year student at Mexico’s Tecnologico de Monterrey won a summer spot on a University of Toronto aerospace engineering team that is designing robots they hope can someday land on asteroids.

The goal is to send small robots to land on some of these mineral-rich rocks and try to redirect their orbits to bring them closer to earth so we can mine their treasures.

“People immediately think of sci-fi movies, but it’s a very serious plan; space companies see asteroids as a huge source of minerals and also resources like oxygen and hydrogen,” said Professor Reza Emami of the U of T’s Institute for Aerospace Studies. If the oxygen and hydrogen could be extracted they could provide fuel for space craft or oxygen for astronauts without having to come back to earth.

“A major drawback in space exploration is that the spacecraft runs out of fuel and becomes dysfunctional, so being able to refuel a spacecraft or satellite is a very critical task,” said Emami.

MITACS student Ramirez is helping develop a simulator that runs the landing part of the mission and shows Emami’s team how the robots could be positioned to apply enough thrust, said Emami over Skype from his research office in Sweden.

To the 21-year-old, this is an opportunity to be part of something he could not have experienced back home.

“I wanted to come to Canada because I heard universities here have a lot of investment in research and we don’t have as much aerospace research in Mexico. I believe we need to stay investigating space to make new things in the world and advance our technical knowledge.”

The mission, called Redirect Asteroid, is to bring asteroids closer to earth so they’re convenient to mine — ideally between the Earth and the moon, said Emami. While still at the conceptual phase, a mission with the United States and Europe is being planned for 2018.

Is it worth it? One asteroid, labeled 1986DA, has been estimated to contain 100,000 tons of platinum and 10,000 tons of gold, said PhD student Michael Bazzocchi, one of Emami’s team, “and that has been said to be worth $5 trillion U.S.”

Yuhong Duan:Seeking shopping secrets of Baby Boomers

As Baby Boomers age, are retailers serving them well? Ryerson University Professor Hong Yu fears many stores focus so much on young shoppers, they fail to consider the needs of the biggest, most lucrative market. It’s a dilemma Yu’s team is researching, and Chinese undergraduate Yuhong Duan has come to help through MITACS’s Globalink program.

“Nowadays the attention is often given to ‘millennials,’ and strategies have not been focusing on Baby Boomers or their parents, who are in their 70s and 80s,” said Yu, an associate professor in Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Retail Management.

“A lot of countries are facing the challenges of an aging population. Baby Boomers are seen to be the most profitable group with the most discretionary money, so how do you engage better with them?” asked Yu, who will have Duan help conduct interviews of consumers over 50 years old to see what services they want — and which they don’t.

Her research focuses on options to traditional “bricks-and-mortar” shopping, a variety of “platforms” she said retailers call the “omni-channel” approach, with online shopping options, in-store apps, social media marketing, catalogues and websites.

What’s the best “channel” if walking to the store is no longer as easy, asked Yu? “Is it e-commerce? Telephone and delivery? A lot of European stores have (cyber) sensors that can read your shopping patterns from your smart phone and then push information targeted to your interests.”

Duan, a third-year e-commerce student at China’s Wuhan University, has been checking out stores in the Eaton Centre and along Queen St. to see which ones offer more options, and has found the smaller, independent stores are more likely to be more flexible.

“I’m interested in consumer behaviour and I can bring my experience here back to China,” said Duan. “It’s a good opportunity to experience life and the culture of Canada.”

She got a surprise the weekend she arrived — it was Pride Weekend and Duan watched the parade.

“In China, you won’t see that. So that’s the first thing that impressed me about Canada.”

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Upscale Student Housing

Judging by the new townhouse development at the corner of Princess and Albert streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re in downtown Toronto or Montreal, not the infamous Queen’s University student ghetto in Kingston.

But these three-storey, red-brick townhouses, with rooftop patios and built-in barbecues, were developed here by Varsity Properties for a reason: They’re the new face of student housing.

“Students these days are choosing to live in accommodations like they had back home, with nice bathrooms and a new kitchen with good appliances,” A. J. Keilty, president of Varsity Properties and member of the Queen’s class of 2002, says during a recent tour of a 30-unit development in the final stages of construction. “They don’t want a 100-year-old building in bad condition. Bad housing is no longer a badge of honour.”

Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Full bathrooms shared by only two people. WiFi. Washer and dryer. Twice monthly cleaning service for bathrooms, kitchens and other common areas. It’s how more and more students want to live now, and Mr. Keilty and his partners, all Queen’s class of 2002 grads, are happy to help them.

Formed in 2003 with three former roommates, Varsity Properties owns about $30-million worth of real estate in Kingston and houses about 400 tenants in its various properties. But with $70-million in its development pipeline, the company is expanding within Kingston and to Oshawa and Guelph, hoping to woo students at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the University of Guelph, respectively. It expects to have 1,200 beds in Ontario by the start of the 2014 school year.

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Top Quality Education

Canada has one of the top-ranked education systems in the world.number-of-IS-in-Canada-by-year-e1421963606276

According to the Conference Board of Canada’s Education and Skills report card, an independent not-for-profit research organization, Canada’s education system currently ranks second only to Finland among 16 developed countries. The report card, which includes 20 indicators such as rate of high school and college completion, return on investment in tertiary education, and equity in learning outcomes, plainly states that Canada excels in delivering a high quality education when compared to our global competitors.

The Organization for Economic Development (OECD), in the report Education at a Glance 2013, similarly reports that Canada’s education system is one of the top in the world. More specifically, they report:

  • Canada has the highest proportion of 25 to 64 year olds with tertiary education among OECD countries and the highest proportion of college graduates (25%)
  • A higher percentage of Canadians (57% of 25 to 35 year olds) have tertiary education, which provides significant protection from unemployment
  • The amount Canada spends per primary student ($8,933 US), secondary ($9,774 US), and tertiary student ($22,475 US) is higher than averages for the OECD and European countries

Canadian educational institutions welcome international students.International-students-by-region-620x458

Many provide special services for international students, designed to assist them to integrate into the academic community and to help them throughout their stay. Most post-secondary institutions have a person to assist international students. He or she is the International or Overseas or Foreign Student Advisor, and works in the International Education Office or Department of Student Services. Most secondary schools which charge fees for international students offer the services of an International Student Advisor or similar counsellor. Students should make themselves known to the Advisor soon after arrival on campus and learn about orientation programs and other activities available through the Advisor`s office.

The figure at the top of the page shows the number of international students in Canada, and the significant growth of that number since 2001. Over the last eleven years, the number of international students in Canada has nearly doubled!

Many countries of the world are represented by international students in Canada. The map below shows where the more than 265,000 international students currently in Canada are from!

Canada’s brand, Education au/in Canada, is fast becoming well known around the world and represents the prominence and excellence of Canada’s education sector. Since its launch, the Imagine Education au/in Canada brand has become the window through which international students view Canada and the umbrella under which Canadian institutions recruit foreign students. However, the brand is more than just a recruitment tool. Thoseinstitutions authorized to use the brand consistently provide high quality education programs, deal with international students in accordance with recognized codes of practice, and are subject to quality-assurance mechanisms that monitor adherence to set standards. The brand, therefore, encompasses a pan-Canadian strategy on international education and a philosophy about standards of quality and service.

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Canada; The Worlds Nicest Place.

Every August my family embarks on that great American ritual: the road trip. And we always head north. Canada may not be the most exotic of destinations, but sometimes, exotic is overrated. Canada tempts us with familiarity, blissfully cool weather and, most of all, a deep reservoir of niceness.

We experience Canadian nice as soon as we reach customs. The US border guards are gruff and all business. The Canadians, by contrast, are unfailingly polite, even as they grill us about the number of wine bottles we’re bringing into the country. One year, we had failed to notice that our 9-year-old daughter’s passport had expired. They, nicely, let us enter anyway. The niceness continues for our entire trip, as we encounter nice waiters, nice hotel clerks, nice strangers.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police celebrating Canada Day. (Credit: George Rose/Getty)

Canadian niceness is pure, and untainted by the passive-aggressive undertones found in American niceness (have a good day, or else!). It’s also abundant. Canada is to niceness as Saudi Arabia is to oil. It’s awash in the stuff, and it’s about time, I say, the rest of the world imported some. (France, Russia and the UK topped one recent list of rude countriesas perceived by travellers.) Researchers have yet to analyse Canadian niceness empirically, but studies have found that Canadians, perhaps in an effort not to offend, use an overabundance of “hedge words”, such as “could be” and “not bad”. Then there is the most coveted of Canadian words:  “sorry”. Canadians will apologize for anything and to anything.

“I’ve apologized to a tree that I walked into,” confessed Michael Valpy, a journalist and author, noting that many of his fellow citizens have done the same.

Scenic Vancouver, Canada. (Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty)

Traffic in Toronto and Montreal may be awful, but “you almost never hear a horn, even in the most frustrating traffic jams”, said Jeffrey Dvorkin, a Canadian journalism professor at the University of Toronto. Horn-honking is regarded as unnecessarily aggressive. And murder rates in Canada are low, he said, partly because “it’s quite rude to murder someone”.

The Canadian press is rife with examples of niceness in action. For instance, the National Post reported that in Edmonton, a law student, Derek Murray, left his headlights on all day. When he returned to his car, he found the battery drained and a note on his windshield. “I noticed you left your lights on,” it read. “The battery will probably not have enough charge to start your vehicle. I left a blue extension cord on the fence and … a battery charger beside the fence in the cardboard box.” The note went on to explain exactly how to jump-start the vehicle. “Good luck,” it added. In Ontario, a thief returned the goods he or she stole with $50 attached to a letter of apology. “I can’t put it into words how sorry I am,” the thief explained. “Please find it in your hearts to forgive the stranger who harmed you.”

Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers honoured in Parliament in October 2014. (Credit: Jason Ransom/PMO/Getty)

Canadians aren’t only polite; they’re incredibly humble too, and reluctant to take credit for even plainly heroic acts. When a gunman attacked the Canadian parliament building in October 2014, Kevin Vickers, Canada’s sergeant-at-arms, responded quickly and calmly by shooting the assailant with the handgun he keeps in his office.And while Vickers was glorified in the Canadian media, it was his humility, not his marksmanship or bravado, that was celebrated. (Canadians take great pride in their humility, an oxymoron that bothers no one.)

What explains this blizzard of humility and politeness? Taras Grescoe, a Montreal-based writer, believes Canadian niceness is born of necessity. “We’re a small group of people, spread across the second-largest national territory in the world,” he said. “We’ve always known that, in order to survive – or just stay sane – we had to watch out for one another. The old lady down the street, the teenager at the bus stop who forgot to bring a scarf when it’s 5 below. Hence our general willingness to proffer assistance rather than aggression.”

Another explanation for Canadian niceness stems from the “fragment theory”. First posited by the US scholar Louis Hartz, the theory states that colonial societies such as the United States and Canada began as “fragments” of the European nations they were escaping from. These new nations remain, in effect, frozen in time. Thus, Canada retains a conservative, Tory streak – that is, with a more deferential, “nicer” nature than the one embraced by the feisty US founding fathers.

Not everyone believes this is a good thing. Valpy sees Canadian niceness as a defence mechanism, one that “stems from inferiority and an awkward awareness that our clothes don’t fit properly and we always have bad haircuts and really don’t do anything great.”

Canadian athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics. (Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty)

Also, in the land of nice, problems sometimes fester because everyone is too nice to say anything. Manjushree Thapa, a writer who recently moved to Canada from Nepal, recalls sitting in a movie theatre when the screen grew dimmer and dimmer as the projection bulb slowly burned out. The screen was almost black but no one spoke up. Exasperated, she finally prodded her Canadian partner to alert the management, which he did, reluctantly. “Niceness can silence people here,” she said.

Overall, though, she’ll take nice any day. And so will I. Life is hard enough, with plenty of jagged edges and pointy bits. Why not coat it with a glaze of politeness and humility? Politeness, at its best, is a way of honouring others, especially strangers. Politeness is the lubricant that makes social interactions run smoothly and reduces the risk of conflagrations. The world, I think, would be a better place if we were all a bit more Canadian.

Fortunately, Canadian niceness is contagious. On my annual northern migration, I find myself slowing down, saying “thank you” and “please” more often that I usually do. Maybe I go too far and cross the line from polite to unctuous. If I do, I can only say, in true Canadian fashion, I’m sorry.

Eric Weiner is a recovering malcontent and philosophical traveler. He is the author of, among other books, The Geography of Bliss and the forthcoming The Geography of Genius. Follow him on Twitter.

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5 Tips on being an International Student in Canada: A story of a challenging and rewarding experience

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It has been 4 months since I got back from Canada, and I feel like I’ve lived a quick dream, it doesn’t seem like I spent 16 months living abroad. Time flies by! It may not seem like this, but it is the truth. So, enjoy your time as much as you can while studying overseas. Here are my 5 tips on being an international student in Canada based on my awesome experience studying agriculture at theUniversity of Guelph in Ontario:

1) The winter: How to talk about Canada and not mention the (long) winter?!! For me, it was a great experience! I used to love seeing everything covered by snow, even more when it was those days with a blue sky… such a beautiful view!! By the way, sometimes during the winter you’ll look through the window and think that it’s a sunny and hot day, but don’t trust that, you’ll still need a good pair of winter boots and coat. During the winter, there are some trips to go snowboarding or skiing that you should try, just take care, the first and only time I went snowboarding I fell down and sprained my wrist. Overall, I’m sure you’ll successfully get through the winter, no need to worry!

2) Share your culture: Other than the winter, there is always a warm welcome when we say we are Brazilians. They love us! So, you will no longer feel homesick or alone, you’re going to meet people from all over the world! You’re going to learn so much from them and teach them so much about Brazil! Besides, making friends with people from other cultures is an important way to improve your English.

3) Build your networks: I strongly suggest the importance of making networks. You’ll get an internship and will have classes with fantastic professors, so talk to them and show your interest, show what you’re truly capable of because many doors may open up for you. For instance, I’ve kept in touch with a professor who I did an internship with while studying at the University of Guelphand I met him last week here in Brasilia (he was here for some meetings) to discuss my monograph, which will be based on the data from that internship. How awesome is that?!

4) Try the food: Believe it or not the type of cuisine that I ate a lot in Canada was actually Japanese! OMG!! I used to eat twice a month in “all you can eat” Japanese restaurants. An interesting detail: they use avocado in their sushi; I loved it!

5) Be active: I have a passion for running. There are lots of races in Canada that I wish I could have participated in, especially the “Spartan Race” and the “Terry Fox Run”, this last one is to raise money for the cancer foundation. Being active while you are a student is very important, so whether it is playing a sport you already know, or trying a new Canadian sport, I highly recommend being active – it will help you make friends and can even help your grades by relieving stress!

I could continue to write much more about my Canadian experience. No doubt that this opportunity was the wisest decision I have ever made in my life. The memories from my exchange will always be full of beautiful places, amazing trips, excellent professors, cold winters, and nice people.

Credits to CBIE

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Educating Global Citizens

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International Experience

What are Canadian colleges doing to prepare the next generation of young Canadians to work and prosper in the global economy? Quite a lot, says Paul Brennan, vice president, international partnerships for Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). “We live in a globalized world Canadian colleges are preparing students to be global professionals, entrepreneurs and international citizens in two ways. The first is by inviting foreign students to mix, mingle and learn at institutions here in Canada. The second is by offering Canadian students the opportunity to study and/or work abroad. International study programs help students develop cross-cultural skills and the ability to work in multicultural environments. It’s good for the students, and it’s good for the economy. “Eurowith linked economies, cross-border problems and an increasing number of jobs that take you around the world,” says Mr. Brennan. “At the same time, we have people from abroad coming to Canada to do business. In this global market, international experience and understanding is critical to success.” pean research indicates that students who take part in these programs have better job prospects and move up in organizations faster that those who do not,” he says. Humber College in Toronto has a distinguished history of engaging in international initiatives going back to the 1970s, says Diane Simpson, dean of international. “Humber’s internationalization strategy is very important in a city like Toronto because it’s so globally connected,” she says.

Courtesy of CIC – Colleges and Institutes Canada

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Why Study in Canada?

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After asking 1000 international student what their top reasons for studying in Canada were, we are able to provide some of the most popular answers!

#12 Financial support

Students told us that the cost to study in Canada is low compared with some other countries, and that scholarships from their institutions were really helpful. Search Canadian university and college scholarships here.

#11 Career opportunities

Many students are getting a head start on their careers by working on-campus and off. Students also said that they were able to grow industry contacts in Canada through co-op placements and field trips.

#10 Skills-building

In addition to the knowledge of their field of study, we heard that students are building marketable skills including writing skills, teamwork, critical-thinking, presentation and communication skills.

#9 Hands-on learning

Many students told us that studying in Canada provided them with a unique opportunity to undertake practical learning. This learning is made possible by having access to cutting-edge technology and laboratories on campus, as well as opportunities to interact directly with instructors and participate in research teams and practicums.

#8 Student activities

Outside of class international students told us they can participate in activities and have ample opportunity to learn about and enjoy Canadian culture.

#7 Services and supports

Canadian communities and campuses received rave reviews from students with regard to services and supports such as public transit, healthcare, academic support and more.

#6 English and French

Be it French or English, many students said that they improved their language skills in Canada. Many more told us just how awesome and unique it was to be living in a bilingual country.

#5 Independence, responsibility and self-confidence

For many students, living and studying in Canada is their first time away from home. Students told us that living in a safe and supportive place like Canada has helped them to experience independence for the first time, growing their sense of responsibility and self-confidence in the world.

#4 Canada’s quality of life

Canada has a fantastic environment with clean and safe cities and wilderness. For many students, the quality of life in Canada is what they have enjoyed the most.

#3 Diversity on campus

When you choose to study in Canada, you are choosing one of the most diverse countries in the world. Canada’s universities and colleges are hubs of global learning – students told us that they really enjoy learning about different cultures and international perspectives as they learn.

#2 Warm welcome

Canadians have a reputation for being very polite. In addition to politeness, many students told us that they received a warm welcome from their community in Canada, including neighbours, classmates, instructors, homestay families and even strangers on the street. Some even told us that they felt immediately at home studying in Canada (this is too much!)

#1 Reason to choose Canada: A great education

All of the reasons we were given above contribute to exceptional learning, but students emphasized that their time in class, in the library with their study group, and working on their projects was the most rewarding thing about coming to Canada. Some aspects of Canadian education that students really wanted to highlight was the world-class teaching – interactive, accessible instructors, the prestige of a Canadian degree around the world, and the flexibility of programs which encourage interdisciplinary studies, developing deeper cross-cutting expertise.

Coutesy of CBIE – Canadian Bureau of International Education

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Canada Internationalization

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A significant majority of Canadian universities – 82% – now place internationalization among their top five strategic priorities, says a new survey of Canada’s degree-granting institutions. This represents a 5% increase over a previous survey in 2006, and leads a broad set of findings that all clearly point to an increasing emphasis on international programmes and services among the country’s higher education institutions.

When asked to identify their main reasons for prioritising internationalisation, 53% of Canadian universities say that “preparing internationally knowledgeable and interculturally competent graduates” is their top motivation. The other most-cited reasons are “building strategic alliances and partnerships with key institutions abroad, promoting an internationalised campus, increasing the university’s global profile, and generating revenue.”

The survey was carried out by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) in May 2014 and generated an 80% response rate among the 97 universities and degree-granting colleges within the AUCC membership. AUCC released its detailed findings in December 2014.

“Not since our last survey in 2006 has there been such a comprehensive view of AUCC member institutions’ engagement with the world beyond our borders,” said Paul Davidson, AUCC’s president and CEO. “The responding institutions together represent more than 85% of all Canadian university students and perform roughly 92% of the university research funded by federal research granting agencies.”

The big picture

As the following chart reflects, boosting student mobility – both inbound and outbound – remains the top priority of Canadian institutions. A full 45% of respondents indicated that undergraduate recruitment was their top priority, and a further 7% noted graduate recruitment as their top international goal. While “expanding outbound mobility” was noted as the top priority by only 4% of respondents, a notable 74% of responding institutions also cited it as a top-five priority.

Building international partnerships, whether for joint programmes, collaborative research, or otherwise, is the second broad priority focus of many Canadian institutions. The preceding chart shows a number of different categories of collaborative initiative that, in combination, make up the top priority for 37% of survey respondents.

Internationalisation priorities of Canadian higher education institutions, 2014. Source: AUCC

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Permanent residency in numbers

In 2012, 7,797 international students from across Canada transitioned to permanent residency (PR). In that same year, over 265,000 international students were present.

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