Attracting and Retaining International Students in Canada
WES Research & Advisory Services, May 2014
7 Pages Posted: 9 May 2014
Date Written: May 1, 2014
Canada is already a hot spot for international students, but numbers indicate that they are not transitioning to permanent residency. Efforts to retain international students at the macro (policy) level need to translate into programs and services at the institutional level. Higher education institutions need to join this effort in order to make this transition as successful as possible. Sustainable international student growth is dependent on delivering the promise of positive student experiences. Understanding international student’s expectations can gain higher education institutions with a significant competitive advantage. A mismatch in expectations and experiences can lead to dissatisfaction and poor retention, which in turn may lead to financial and reputational losses for institutions. Canadian higher education institutions need to assess and adapt their programs and services in order to deliver positive experiences to international students. The first step for higher education institutions in working towards improving retention is to recognize that not all international students are the same. Differences in academic preparedness or financial resources, for example, can translate into differences in international student’s expectations. This article discusses the connection between expectations-experiences and retention. Higher education institutions can deliver positive experiences by better understanding international student segments and how students’ expectations differ.
Keywords: International Students, Retention, Canada, Higher Education, Universities
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