I thank you for taking the time to hear from me today. I am Scott McAlpine, and I am pleased to be here on behalf of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, or CBIE, of which I am a board member. I'm also the president of Douglas College, which is a long-standing member of CBIE. Douglas has two campuses in metro Vancouver. We have over 1,000 international students currently studying at Douglas.
CBIE is Canada's national membership organization dedicated to international education. CBIE comprises 150 member institutions across Canada, covering the whole education spectrum, from K to 12 to postgraduate.
We are committed to making Canada a global leader in international education. CBIE plays a leadership role in the Canadian Consortium for International Education Marketing. This organization has unified and coordinated the sector like never before, ensuring that we are well positioned to play a leadership role, in partnership with government, in order to ensure a strong return on our investments.
CBIE provided a written online submission to this committee in August. We concluded as follows: CBIE recommends that the government provide substantial, sustained investment for a comprehensive international education strategy, delivered in partnership with key stakeholders, in order to achieve concrete results based on ambitious targets for international student enrolment and study abroad opportunities for Canadians.
The points I want to amplify today are that Canada is well positioned to take a leadership role in international education, and that this will require a substantial, sustained investment. The benefits of this investment are for our economy and for our students. Our youth are the future leaders of tomorrow.
Our recommendation was bolstered by the report of the advisory panel on Canada's international education strategy, appointed by the Honourable Jim Flaherty and the Honourable Ed Fast. CBIE supports all of the panel's recommendations that together are designed to make Canada the 21st-century leader in international education.
So what kind of leader can we be? The panel clearly integrated the messages provided by CBIE and the consortium. The panel claimed and aimed to position Canada not only to attract top talent from abroad, but also to prepare our citizens for a global society and marketplace. In other words, they aimed to position Canada to develop a labour force that can ensure our country's prosperity in the short term and into the future.
We need to invest more, however. To give this some perspective, in 2010 Canada enrolled about 5% of the world's international students, putting us in seventh position worldwide. Australia, a country of similar size, received 7% of the international student market, putting it in fourth position.
To concretize some of the benefits of international education, consider the following. In 2010 international students in Canada spent more than $7.7 billion, all in. Education services are now Canada's 11th largest export industry and our single largest export to China. In B.C., international education is the fourth largest export industry, and is moving quickly into third. Moreover, international education is witnessing worldwide expansion. The OECD estimates that the global demand is set to grow from nearly 4.1 million students in 2010 to 7.2 million in 2025. We need, as a country, to tap into this large and expanding resource.
And what about Canadian students? Providing Canadian students with international opportunities allows them to acquire global perspectives and contribute to what Governor General David Johnston has termed “the diplomacy of knowledge”.