Overall, the number of foreign students more than doubled to over 2 million between 20. More recently however they have had to compete with the rapidly growing Asian higher education market.
While US is the leading destination for foreign students, there is increasing competition from several destinations in East Asia such as China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan which are keen to attract foreign students for reputation and demographic reasons.
Recent changes to Canada's immigration regulations that came into effect on January 1, 2015 have placed international graduates from Canadian universities at a disadvantage.
Under the new rules, foreign students who hold a degree or diploma from Canadian educational institutions will be treated on par with other groups of skilled workers.
Attracting international students, especially by way of scholarships, is one effective way of growing this influence.
Japan, Canada and New Zealand are perceived as evolving destinations for international students.
The study permit identifies the level of study and the length of time the individual may study in Canada.
International students do not need a study permit for courses of six months or less if they will finish the course within the period of stay authorized upon entry, which is usually six months.
The number of US visas issued to Chinese students to study at US universities has increased by 30 per cent, from more than 98,000 in 2009 to nearly 128,000 in October 2010, placing China as the top country of origin for foreign students, according to the "2010 Open Doors Report" published on the US Embassy in China website. Overall, the total number of foreign students with a US visa to study at colleges and universities increased by 3 per cent to a record high of nearly 691,000 in the 2009/2010 academic year.
The 30 per cent increase in Chinese student enrolment was the main contributor to that year's growth, and now Chinese students account for more than 18 percent of the total foreign students.