While domestic enrolment at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC, is down in recent years, international enrolment has increased by 87 per cent since 2012.
The reason for this shift has been fewer college-age residents available to enrol in university, although this trend is expected to change as the number of domestic high school graduates is set to increase early next decade. Despite this, the school is currently well over capacity, and this expected uptick in students means the university will have to grow to compensate.
International students contribute to a culturally vibrant and globalized university culture. They also pay more in tuition fees, which universities increasingly rely on for revenue. Global issues that affect immigration could also affect enrolment, making it risky for universities to count on international student tuition as a revenue stream, though they often do, as government funding can be difficult to get.
A recent study in the Journal of Public Economics suggested that international student revenue may actually help keep costs down for domestic students as well, making international enrolment vital for the life of universities.