These Canadian universities have the most international students -

These Canadian universities have the most international students

How schools compare for welcoming out-of-province and foreign students


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Maclean’s counts the proportion of out-of-province students and international students in the first-year undergraduate class, as well as the percentage of international graduate students for schools in our Medical Doctoral and Comprehensive categories. All data is collected directly from the universities. A full explanation of our methodology is available here.

International (first year)

Percentage of students from outside Canada in the first-year undergraduate class in fall 2016.

School Per cent
UBC 31.0
McGill 30.7
Bishop's 29.6
Toronto 25.7
Saint Mary's 21.0
Dalhousie 20.2
UQAM 19.5
Cape Breton 19.4
UPEI 19.2
Waterloo 18.0
Simon Fraser 17.0
Alberta 16.6
Laval 14.6
Moncton 13.8
York 13.5
Regina 13.1
Concordia 12.9
Carleton 12.5
Western 11.5
Memorial 11.0
Acadia 10.4
McMaster 10.4
Mount Allison 10.0
Brandon 9.9
Montréal 9.9
Ottawa 9.1
Lakehead 8.5
Victoria 8.5
New Brunswick 8.2
Queen's 8.2
Sherbrooke 8.2
Mount Saint Vincent 8.0
Manitoba 7.8
St. Thomas 7.4
Calgary 7.1
Windsor 7.1
UOIT 7.0
Brock 6.9
Wilfrid Laurier 5.9
Winnipeg 5.6
St. Francis Xavier 5.4
Lethbridge 5.2
Ryerson 5.0
Laurentian 4.2
Trent 3.7
Saskatchewan 2.9
Guelph 2.7
UNBC 2.2
Nipissing 0.6

International (graduate)
Percentage of graduate students from outside Canada in fall 2016. (Medical Doctoral and Comprehensive categories only, as these universities have the largest offerings of graduate programs.)

School Per cent
Windsor 57.2
Memorial 50.0
Concordia 49.2
Regina 48.2
Brock 44.1
Waterloo 42.3
Alberta 40.0
Saskatchewan 38.9
McGill 37.3
Manitoba 37.0
New Brunswick 36.7
UBC 35.0
Victoria 32.1
Simon Fraser 32.0
Laval 30.7
Dalhousie 30.0
Ottawa 29.0
Calgary 28.9
UQAM 27.7
Montréal 27.1
McMaster 25.3
Queen's 24.5
Sherbrooke 23.5
Carleton 22.5
Western 22.3
York 19.7
Toronto 17.7
Guelph 15.2
Wilfrid Laurier 14.0
Ryerson 12.7

Out of province (first year)
Percentage of out-of-province students in the first-year undergraduate class in fall 2016.

School Per cent
Mount Allison 51.2
St. Francis Xavier 46.7
Dalhouse 39.2
Acadia 33.9
McGill 27.6
Bishop's 25.9
UPEI 23.5
Victoria 19.7
St. Thomas 19.4
Queen's 18.8
St. Mary's 18.0
Ottawa 14.4
New Brunswick 13.2
Memorial 13.0
Alberta 12.1
Mount Saint Vincent 12.0
Saskatchewan 12.0
Toronto 11.8
UBC 11.0
Concordia 10.9
Calgary 10.8
UNBC 10.8
Moncton 10.6
Western 9.5
Regina 9.3
Carleton 8.8
Lethbridge 8.6
Simon Fraser 8.0
Brandon 7.4
Waterloo 7.0
Cape Breton 4.0
Sherbrooke 3.9
Ryerson 3.3
Lakehead 3.1
Trent 3.1
Winnipeg 3.0
Brock 2.9
Laurentian 2.9
Manitoba 2.5
Windsor 1.9
Nipissing 1.8
Guelph 1.7
McMaster 1.7
Laval 1.3
York 1.3
UOIT 1.0
Wilfrid Laurier 1.0
Montréal 0.7


These Canadian universities have the most international students

  1. Ans: The universities most hungry for those supersiz out-of-country tuition dollars

    With almost one third of its first-year undergraduate students being out-of-country students, it’s a little difficult to see how UBC is properly serving its city, province, and country. I can understand a high percentage of out-of-country students in graduate programs, but undergrad programs should really be about getting Canadian citizens and permanent residents educated IMO.

    • ??? Canadians aren’t being kept out of universities.

      There’s room enough for everyone.

      The UK just admitted 71000 foreign students

      We could too.

      • None of which is relevant to the specific situation at BC’s flagship university, UBC.

        • BC is not the world.

    • International enrolments (at least one BC) are not a zero sum. The BC gov funds a total N of domestic seats and each Uni aims for that funded N. Usually they overshoot a little and take about 103-105% of funded enrolment.

      The international category is independently funded by intl tuition. UBC has done a really good job of cost accounting for international students. In the 1990s, international students paid about 2.5x tuition IIRC. This didn’t actually cover the cost of having them there, so the province was subsidizing them.

      Around 2000, UBC started asking the question ‘what do intl students really cost?’. Over time, they built in capital costs, overhead, special services, etc. They now charge intl students about 7x the amount they charge domestic students.

      That said, there is an argument to be made that intl students displace domestic students from high demand programs. International students tend to be more driven to the career-oriented disciplines. If everyone wants to be a Finance major (or engineer) and Finance majors are selected on GPA with no consideration for tuition status, then it’s possible that international students are clustering in that major and they may not be able to expand facilities and faculty to accommodate. Government doesn’t, for the most part, target funding to specific programs. Where it does (medicine is an example) the seats are targeted 100% to domestic students.

      • All of which does indeed beg the question: how is the 31% of out-of-country students allocated among the different disciplines. It does seem intuitive that international students would, for the most part, *not* be coming to UBC, and paying big bucks, in order to get BAs in English or history or geography or …. So, in all likelihood they are indeed clustering in the more professional disciplines like engineering, commerce, maybe pharmacy, etc. Would be very interesting to see a breakdown of this.

        • More to the point is why do you care?

          • Surely, the writer wants to know if domestic students are being crowded out by international students who may have marginally higher grades. Assuming students are selected by marks, and all applicants know this, this is not wrong, but from a public policy perspective, the first question is whether if it serves Canadian society to have the smart hardworking and capable children of taxpayers barred from their chosen profession as a result of this opening of space (does it create imbalances in our supply of certain professions forcing us to hire from outside Canada?). It partly depends (I would guess) on the spread between domestic and international grades. International students enrich the learning environment, and they are apparently fully paying their way. The second question, for which there is no simple answer, is one of equity : whether we are both amplifying the privilege of the very wealthiest from outside Canada at the expanse of otherwise capable Canadians who do not have similar options to spend 7 times the going rate for university in order to go abroad, and creating further strain on the prospects of millennial citizens squeezed out of opportunities to train for secure well paid jobs?

          • LOL If you’re an example of a millennial, we’re in big trouble.

  2. Many countries offer FREE university… everyone….including international students.

    Yes….we should.