06 January 2010

Canadian universities brace for increase in immigrant student applications

Canadian universities in and around Toronto are bracing for a surge of student applications from the children of immigrants as the closing date for applications draws closer.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadian immigration statistics show four in 10 new immigrants settle in Toronto and this is expected to push up demand for extra university spots as their children finish high school.

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University, just outside of Toronto, are both bracing for a surge of student applications.

“I’m hearing there’s going to be a huge bulge in university applications in two or three years,” said Ken Lavigne of the University of Waterloo.

While much of the demand for extra spots at university will fall on universities in Toronto, “we’ll probably be attractive to many of those students because of our location,” said Lois Wood, associate registrar of admissions at Wilfrid Laurier.

Specific estimates of the size of the expected demand were not given, but both said the demand was related to the fact that the numbers of migrants to Canadian has increased steadily in the past 20 years, and overwhelmingly most choose to settle in Toronto.

Most immigrants are most likely to come from India or China, and these two countries together make up one-third of all immigration to Canada, and these immigrants are more likely to have children who go to university.

Current statistics show 65 per cent of children of immigrants from India and China complete university and go on to professional work in Canada, compared with 28 per cent of children of Canadian-born parents.

Applications are due January 13 for high school students seeking a spot at an Ontario university next fall.


The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Canadian  Visa applications to the Canadian Embassy.

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