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Benefits of under-documented French language market may be significant for Canada — research findings

VICTORIA, March 4, 2016 – A new research report released today highlights the potential benefits of tapping into Canada’s French language education offer to help Canada position itself as the top destination for international students to learn French.

The report, released today by Canada’s national language education association, Languages Canada, at their 9th annual conference in Victoria, BC, and StudentMarketing — an independent market research provider — provides several valuable recommendations on how Canada can better leverage its French language education offer.

Presented by Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing, and Maud Pinard-Frechette, French Program Manager at Languages Canada, the results map the current state of the global French language market. The research, carried out by StudentMarketing, analyzed data gathered from French language centres and education agents in order to assess the current state and market size of the international French language education sector and the market structure.

“Language education is a key component of internationalization, which makes this report especially unique and ground-breaking for Canadian French language education,” says Samuel Vetrak, CEO of StudentMarketing. “Significant data and analysis has been available for the English language segment, but until now the French language segment has been alarmingly under-documented.”

The research also provides an overview of international student flows, identifies priority source markets for Canadian institutions, and provides practical recommendations on how to intensify recruitment goals.

“We hope that our members, the international education sector, and governments will benefit from the findings of this research to help them engage with new partners and to develop policy that supports growth and innovation for French language education in Canada,” says Gonzalo Peralta, Executive Director, Languages Canada.

Languages Canada would like to thank Global Affairs Canada for their continued support for Canada’s language education sector, and StudentMarketing for contributing their expertise to this project.

Among the key findings:

Global market

  • The global French language training market is estimated to comprise 150,000 students annually;
  • The market is largely dominated by adults – 87% of all students;
  • France, as the leading destination, attracts 83% of French language students.

The Canadian perspective

  • Canada welcomes 9% of all internationally mobile French language students;
  • Canada’s major opportunities lie in expansion to potent source markets (e.g. Italy, UK) and supplying the existing agent network with additional tools and resources to promote French language courses.

Agency market specifics

  • Agents report General French to be the most desired language course type, with 45% of their customers opting for it;
  • Agents claim that there are gaps in information provision and promotion of French language courses in Canada.

To download the Executive Summary, please visit our website.  

To purchase the full report ($300 web version/$400 print version), please contact:

Maud Pinard-Frechette
French Program Manager
Languages Canada

Languages Canada is Canada’s national language education association representing more than 225 private and public language education members that offer accredited English and French programs.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Sarah Snowdon
Communications Manager