The Canadian government was presented with a new report recommending that universities should
abandon their policy that foreign students are charged between two
and six times as much for their studies.
Tax revenues, jobs and a reputation
Right now, 7% of Canadian GDP is generated by the education
services sector. International students spend on average CDN$
4.9billion (€4 billion) annually on tuition fees and basic living
expenses. This created 86,570 jobs and generated CDN$ 455 million
(€371 million) in tax revenues per year.
Beyond that, the report also confirmed a phenomenon which was observed in Australia: international students
bring more tourists into the country. In addition to the above
expenses by foreign students, another CDN$ 336 million (€ 274
million) can be attributed to increased revenues from tourism
related activities by international students as well as their
family and friends.
Opposite trend in Europe
"Canada's educational expertise is a valuable export that can be
measured in comparison to other goods and service exports.
International students can also become a valuable source of highly
skilled labor to our economy at a time when the western world is
facing potential labor shortages, especially among top talent," the
The spokesman of Canada's Trade Minister Ed Fast commented that
these findings will become part of a new policy to attract more
foreign students. Meanwhile, European countries follow the opposite
trend. Sweden introduced foreign student tuition fees
ranging from €11,000 to €25,000 in 2011. Non-European students in
the Netherlands pay between €9,000 and €25,000
annually. A similar policy is currently debated in Germany.