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Canada, Australia and New Zealand to increase their shares of the international student market in 2021

Ernst & Young report predicts that COVID19 will redistribute international student flow.
BY Skendha Singh |   26-06-2020

A view of the iconic Toronto skyline
A view of the iconic Toronto skyline

Canada is likely to increase its share of the international student market by 6% - thanks to the US, which has handled the pandemic poorly, and is currently in the throes of socio-political unrest, while Australia could increase its share by 2%. Not to be left behind, New Zealand could add approximately 10,000 students to its current numbers, thereby increasing its share by 1%.

All three countries are seen as success stories when it comes to dealing with the pandemic, keeping international student policies liberal, figuring out strategies to continually attract international students.

The numbers quoted above were published in an Ernst & Young report published in April 2020: ‘COVID19 – Assessing the impact on the education sector and looking ahead.’ The report is based on surveys conducted by groups such as the British Council and IDP Connect, and includes the opinions of more than 40,000 students internationally.

Although it estimates that, in 2020, only about 330,000 foreigners are enrolled in the top five destination countries, a significant decrease from 2019’s 1.09 million, the next year will see a jump to approximately 1.85 million people. This growth will be driven by students who have deferred their studies this year.

Giving reason for optimism, the E&Y report states that, in spite of the pandemic’s effect which can last for the next 5 years or so, new international student enrolments will remain at 1.1 million or more for the next three years.

Australia’s Federal Education Minister Dan Trehan told the press “We are taking our first cautious steps towards international students returning much earlier than anyone would have predicted,” he said. “This is important because international education builds our connections to the rest of the world.”

For countries like Australia, where international education is one of the top three exports after coal and iron ore, it is understandable that the impact of COVID19 on student numbers is being keenly felt.



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