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B.C.’s post-secondary student enrolment numbers stable

Number of new study permits dropped 53.6 per cent in 2020, but began rebound in 2021

The number of students at B.C.’s largest post- secondary  schools has remained relatively stable, despite a decline in international student enrolment, according to data collected for Business in Vancouver’s list of the biggest post-secondary institutions in the province (page 10).

Average full-time-equivalent student attendance at the province’s top post-secondary institutions peaked in 2020 at 11,557. It subsequently fell 2.6 per cent in 2021 and remained essentially unchanged in 2022.

The average number of students in B.C. peaked in 2020 despite a massive 53.6 per cent decline in new study permits for inter- national students.

New study permits in Canada

fell to 23,460 in 2020 from 50,533 in 2019, according to a 2022 study from education tech company ApplyBoard, which used Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada data.

The decline in new-study permits in 2020 was less for British Columbia than the 57 per cent decline experienced by the rest of the country.

Post secondary graph 2022-2

In 2021’s first half, new study permits in B.C. jumped to around 39,000. That was 66.5 per cent more than in all of 2020. Almost two-thirds of those new study permits were for college and university programs. The rest were for K-12 and language programs.

The University of British Columbia (No. 1) had the largest five- year increase in the number of full-time equivalent students of the institutions on BIV’s list. It was up nine per cent to 61,906 in 2022 from 56,804 in 2018.

Kwantlen Polytechnic University (No. 5) had the largest one- year enrolment growth among B.C.’s five largest post-secondary institutions, growing 7.2 per cent to 13,117.7 in 2022 from 12,239.5 in 2021.

Victoria’s Royal Roads University (No. 17) had the largest one-year enrolment growth on BIV’s list. It increased 32.8 per cent to 2,710 in 2022 from 2,040 in2021.