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Record number of international language students reported in 2017 – Languages Canada Annual Survey

Nearly 150,000 students enrolled in Languages Canada (LC) member programs in 2017, up 10% from 135,425 in the previous year. Overall student weeks also increased, from 1.5 million in 2016 to 1.61 million in 2017.

These impressive growth figures are reported in Languages Canada’s Annual Survey Report, launched today. The Report provides a comprehensive analysis of student numbers and demographics within LC member programs and offers useful insights into the operations of LC members as well as the economic impact of language students on the Canadian economy.

Tuition and living expenses paid by language students in 2017 generated an estimated $1.6 billion in export revenue for the Canadian economy and contributed $204 million in federal and provincial tax revenue. 

The top five source countries of international students in LC member programs in 2017 were Brazil (23,533), Japan (20,589), China (16,197), Korea (15,040) and Mexico (12,780). The number of students from Mexico jumped by 41% from 9,036 in 2016. The number of students from Vietnam increased by an astounding 203% in the last year, from 1,049 in 2016 to 3,181 in 2017, placing Vietnam on Languages Canada’s top 10 source country list for the first time.

The survey revealed that 48,317 students intended to continue on to post-secondary studies in 2017, representing approximately one third of all students attending Languages Canada member programs.

The good news reported in the 2017 Languages Canada Annual Survey is perhaps no surprise, given the overall growth of Canada’s international education sector. The federal government’s International Education Strategy target of 450,000 international students by 2022 was achieved in early 2018, four years ahead of schedule.

“That growth may be heavily influenced by external geopolitical factors, and should not be take for granted,” warns Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director of Languages Canada. “We cannot rely on external factors such as unfavourable US foreign policy to drive sustained growth in Canada’s language or international education sector; we must continue to invest in international promotion and partnership-building efforts, continue to refine Canada’s international student policies at the federal and provincial levels, and above all we must align the efforts of government, sector representative bodies, and institutions.”

The Executive Summary of the Languages Canada Annual Survey is free to download from the Languages Canada website HERE.

The full text of the report is available free of charge to LC member programs. It is available for purchase at  

About Languages Canada

Languages Canada/Langues Canada is a non-profit association representing more than 210 private and public members that offer accredited English and French language education programs. As Canada’s national organization representing language education, Languages Canada is committed to promoting growth and innovation in Canada’s English and French language programs.


Félix Tremblay