OTTAWA, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- The number of international students pursuing post-secondary studies in Canada reached a record high last year, the authorities said here Tuesday.
In 2012, the number of foreign students in Canada amounted to 104,777 in 2012, representing a 6.5-percent increase from 2011 and a sizable 60-percent hike from 2004, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said.
"Attracting and retaining the best and brightest immigrants from around the world is part of the government's commitment to grow Canada's economy and ensure long-term prosperity," the minister said in a statement.
"The steady growth in numbers confirms that Canada remains a destination of choice for international students because of the remarkable educational opportunities that exist in our world class institutions," he said.
Last August, the federal government released the final report from an advisory panel on Canada's international education strategy.
It cited statistics from a 2011 report commissioned by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada that found international students spent over 7.7 billion Canadian dollars (7.9 billion U.S. dollars) on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending in 2010, an increase from 6.5 billion Canadian dollars (6.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2008.
More than 6.9 billion Canadian dollars of the 2010 revenue was brought in by 218,200 long-term foreign students in Canada. Short-term language students, who stay in Canada for less than six months, contributed 788 million Canadian dollars (811 million U.S. dollars) to the Canadian economy.