There were 60,000 international students studying at Ontario universities in 2015-16. International students contribute significantly to excellence in education and research, bringing a diversity of perspectives, experiences and languages that enhance the learning environment on our campuses. Ontario benefits from talented international students who become Canadian citizens, and contribute their talent to our economy domestically. International students who return to their home countries help to create stronger ties between Ontario and other global jurisdictions.
Universities are not the only ones who benefit from international students. International students provide a significant economic boost to the province, contributing almost $3 billion annually to Ontario’s economy. According to a 2012 federal government report, international students pursuing their education in Canada created more than 81,000 jobs and generated more than $445 million in government revenue.
To help attract top talent from across the globe to the province, Ontario universities are working with the provincial government to develop an international postsecondary education strategy. This strategy will help Ontario pull ahead of competing markets and take full advantage of the substantial benefits provided by international students in research talents, skills and economic contributions. We are also working to designate a small number of existing funded PhD spaces for international or domestic students that will help enrich the academic, social and cultural life of our universities from classrooms to research laboratories.