The Canadian arrest of a senior executive from Huawei has led to increasing concerns that China may cut off student travel to Canada.
Canada’s top three universities — University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, and McGill — all rely on international student tuition as part of their funding, and Chinese students make up most of the international student population at all three. Loss of such funding would have a substantial impact on these universities and the Canadian economy.
After Canada called for the release of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia, the number of Saudi students fell by almost half, from 5,090 students in 2017 to 2,720 in 2018. Even this small change was expected to have a large impact on Ontario schools.
According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, 77,000 Chinese students had study permits in Canada in 2018, so the impact of a similar shift in Chinese students would be far greater.