India has passed China for the first time in the number of new study permits issued in 2017 according to data recently released by Statistics Canada.

Last year, 83,630 permits were issued to students from India and 83,395 were issued to students from China. These each represent about 26% of the total 318,040 permits issued in 2017.

The number of permits issued to Indian students has increased rapidly for several years now with an increase of 58% in 2017 and 65% in 2016. Permits issued to Chinese students increased at a slower pace of 8% in 2017 and 17% in 2016.

In 2015, permits issued to Chinese students were 30% of the total of 219,235 issued and were more than double those issued to India. Overall permits issued increased by 20% in 2017 and 21% in 2016 for a continued strong increase.

China’s increases have been below this pace, which could be because they have a declining number of school leavers in China, they are a more mature market for international education and China has continued to invest heavily in improving its tertiary education sector.

India, on the other hand, has a huge demographic bulge of youth and has had only modest government investment in tertiary education.

Brock Dykeman is the VP Academic at University Canada West (UCW). UCW is located in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. The university offers both online and on-campus Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and MBA programs.