You may have heard the statement, “Since 911 it is very hard for Pakistani students to get Study Permits for Canada”. Now, is it myth or is it true?
The following graph based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada statistics would indicate that Pakistani students continue to study in Canada and even at a higher rate since 911 than ever before.
The graph shows the number of international students from five Asian countries who studied in Canada between 2006 and 2010. Throughout those four years Pakistani students led the pack with even a dramatic increase in 2009 and that trend continued on into 2010 with slightly more than 2000 students in Canada. If the number of Pakistani students continued to rise each year with a major influx in 2009, then we can make the assumption that this trend is continuing and will likely continue. This is in contrast to Singapore and Indonesia where there has been slight decline in their students studying in Canada.
What this chart does not explain is the international student recruitment activities of Canadian universities and this is what makes the statistics pleasantly surprising.
It is not that Canadian universities and colleges do not recruit in Pakistan, they do; but by and large they do not actively recruit in Pakistan as much as in the other four countries shown in the graph. Therefore the fact that Pakistani students are studying in Canada is due mainly to their own efforts and not the solicitation and recruitment endeavours of employees from Canadian universities and colleges.
One can argue that the Pacific Rim countries have a smaller population than Pakistan and that is why there are so many Pakistani students in Canada; that per capita the numbers are about the same. According to the 2011 statistics from the World Bank (see chart below) Bangladesh has a population of just over 150,000,000 and Pakistan more than 176,000,000 so the population size is not significantly different. Yet, in 2010 Pakistan had over 2000 students studying in Canada, whereas Bangladesh where there is active international student recruitment, only about 1300 students were studying in Canada in the same year.
Based on the above statistics, political sentiments are not a deterrent to Pakistani students studying in Canada. Merit and determination are still the winning factors that help a student study in Canada.