The gross number of international post-secondary students transitioning to permanent residency has increased, if somewhat inconsistently, seeing significant gains in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, 9.4 per cent of foreign students choose to stay in Nova Scotia post-graduation, up from the baseline of 5.1 per cent (2012). There has also been a significant increase in the number of students studying in Nova Scotia. However, the rate of increase in retention has exceeded the number of new students studying in Nova Scotia. Therefore, at the current pace we are on track to reach the 'stretch' target of a 10 per cent retention rate.
year rate target baseline 2005 3.6 10 5 2006 6 10 5 2007 6.2 10 5 2008 7.5 10 5 2009 5.7 10 5 2010 5.3 10 5 2011 4.1 10 5 2012 5.1 10 5 2013 6 10 5 2014 5.5 10 5 2015 3.3 10 5 2016 6.9 10 5 2017 9.4 10 5
What this means
A growing number of potential economic migrants are being attracted to study at Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions. More of them are also choosing to stay and build a life here. This is an opportunity to help combat the province’s demographic and economic challenges. As the number of enrolments rise, retention efforts can expand to accommodate the larger volume of potential economic migrants.
Creating incentives for post-secondary students to stay
“Number one: connection to the job market in areas of meaningful work. And number two: connections to community. “We need to very deliberately create opportunities for international students”, says Wendy Luther, president of EduNova.
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