The determinants of international post secondary student mobility in Canada: National and regional panel data analysis

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University of New Brunswick


Given the current need of recruiting immigrants to fill in labour force gaps, international students in Canada have become paramount to immigration policy. The increased need to recruit skilled workers makes it important to know what attracts international students to the country, but most importantly, what makes international students want to stay. This knowledge provides the opportunity to have a more targeted policy approach to retention. For this purpose, we use the Post-Secondary Information Survey and the T1 Family Tax Files data for the years 2005 to 2018 to estimate a logit panel data model which identifies the factors affecting international students’ retention in Canada, given characteristics related to their education and socio-demographic factors. We also investigate the causes of internal mobility across Canadian provinces among international students while controlling various individual-specific and macro variables. Our findings will help federal and provincial policymakers shed light on policy formations to improve the retention rate of international students.