Conestoga College credits international students with the most recent expansion and predicts that it will help fill the employment gap that exists in Ontario. The only students in 2011 were two brothers from Iran and at the time there were only a few hundred on the Conestoga College campus.
Currently, the college hosts almost 20,000 full-time students and thanks to the two brothers from Iran, they serve as pioneers, encouraging other international students to enroll in the international studies programs.
The two brothers went on to become founders of Apply Board, along with a University of Waterloo graduate. The platform makes use of artificial intelligence to aid international students in completing their application at more roughly 1,200 post-secondary institutions in North America.
Conestoga College was their first partner. Mr. Massi, one of the first international students to the college stated that Conestoga College has done an amazing job with its quick expansion, adapting to the demand, and exploring new programs and opportunities. This is especially true when it comes to accommodating the needs of its students. The college always proves quick and agile.
There has been a tremendous spike in the number of international college students in the past five years. For example, it went from 1,400 international students five years ago to 10,949 this year. It is estimated that these students make up 56% of the school’s full-time students.
The company, Apply Board, has also seen a significant spike in the number of applicants. During the first five years of establishing the business, only 60 students used Apply Board to submit their applications to Conestoga College. Last year, approximately 700 students applied through Apply Board and attended the college as a result. This number is expected to increase to 1,000 in 2020.
There have now been over 80,000 students from 130 countries who have used Apply Board to successfully apply to study programs in North America in the past four years.
Putting the college’s sudden surge in international students into perspective, consider that the college currently has the same number of international students attending Wilfrid Laurier University full-time and the University of Waterloo put together.
Statistics show that the University of Waterloo shows the number of international students attending increased from 5,749 to 8,850 in 2019-2020. This number now accounts for about a quarter of the almost 36,000 full-time graduates and undergraduates attending the University of Waterloo.
Wilfrid Laurier shows that the number of its international students increased from 1,050 to 1,574 over the same period. The numbers were also a part of Laurier’s deliberate approach to steadily grow the number of international students they attract.
Laurier currently has roughly 20,000 students, and 'internationalization' appears to be the key theme for the past five years, according to their plan.
There is a lot to like about Conestoga College. Part of its appeal to international students is their ability to help them adapt to living abroad and adjust to their study programs. They take care of the needs of their students. This has contributed significantly to its growth.