BC economy benefits from boom in international student enrolment

Feb 27, 2017    Source: Chantal Moore


For immediate release
Feb. 27, 2017


International Education continues to benefit the province, contributing over $3.5 billion in international student spending to the BC economy and creating over 29,300 jobs in 2015. These numbers are outlined in a new report commissioned by the BC Council for International Education that looks at trends over the past five years in BC’s International Education sector.

The number of international students in BC grew by 44% from 2010 to 2015, reaching a record high of 130,053 students across all sectors, including public and private post-secondary, and K-12.

The private post-secondary sector hosted the highest number of international students – just over 50%. Almost 35% were enrolled in the public post-secondary sector, followed by the K-12 sector, which represented about 13%.

Top source countries

The top three source countries of international students in BC in 2015 include:

  1. China with 51,130 students;
  2. South Korea with 12,695 students; and
  3. India with 12,105 students.

“International Education is working for British Columbia’s communities and students. International students bring so many cultural benefits to our classrooms and impressive economic benefits to residents and communities. They form a strong network of friends, ambassadors and trading partners for BC around the world, and these connections have never been more essential in today’s global economy,” said Dr. Randall Martin, BCCIE’s Executive Director.

The high numbers of students who choose BC each year is evidence of BC’s quality education system and livability.

International Education is also a key sector of the BC Jobs Plan that includes a target to increase the number of international students in BC by 50% by 2016.

“In the same way as we are working to attract students into BC, we have been creating more opportunities for BC students to go abroad. We know that intercultural experience helps students succeed in a global workforce,” said Colin Doerr, BCCIE’s Director, Communications and Programs.

The BC International Education Strategy, which set out to increase the two-way flow of students, concluded in September 2016. The development of a refreshed strategy is currently underway to build on the progress and accomplishments to date.


Media Contact:

Chantal Moore
Manager, Communications
BC Council for International Education