International Students at Canadian Community Colleges

Emerging Trends


  • Oleg Legusov Seneca College
  • Hayfa Jafar American University of Iraq, Sulaimani
  • Olivier Bégin-Caouette University of Montreal



Community colleges, international students, Emerging trends, Internationalization of higher Education


This study uses Knight’s (2004) framework of internationalization in higher education to examine emerging trends involving international students at Canadian public community colleges. The findings show that the provinces’ socioeconomic and cultural differences and immigration policies have had a substantial effect on the number of international students on college campuses. The study identified seven important emerging trends within the sector. The findings suggest that an evolving approach to immigrant selection may be contributing to the reconfiguration of the colleges’ international student body, which has gone from predominantly Chinese to primarily Indian. Furthermore, the study explores new approaches used to increase the market share of international students, such as campuses exclusively for international students and partnerships with private career colleges. It also provides an analysis of the latest development, namely the shift to online instruction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The study highlights the importance of understanding these trends.  

Author Biographies

Oleg Legusov, Seneca College

Dr. Oleg Legusov is an international student advisor at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. He previously worked as an agency coordinator, guiding the activities of student recruitment agents in multiple regions of the world. His research interests include the experience of international community college graduates in host-country labor markets and equity, diversity, and inclusion in multicultural societies. He has a Ph.D. from University of Toronto - Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, B.A. (econ.) from McGill University and an M.Ed. from Nipissing University (research on at-risk students) and studied Chinese culture and language at Beijing Language and Culture University.

Hayfa Jafar, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

Dr. Hayfa Jafar is Director - Institutional Effectiveness at the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani. Previously she worked as Institutional Research Analyst at Centennial College in Canada – Ontario. She is experienced analyst using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Hayfa led tens of projects related to student retention, graduates outcomes, student social and academic experiences on campus, and international student diversity and market share at Ontario colleges. Her major area of research is internationalization of higher education.

Olivier Bégin-Caouette , University of Montreal

Dr. Olivier Bégin-Caouette is assistant professor in comparative higher education at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, Université de Montréal. He is the co-founder of the Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research on Higher Education (LIRES), and an associate member of the Interuniversity research center on science and technology (CIRST). His research focus on the interactions between higher education systems and their political, economic, social, and cultural contexts, as well as on the internationalization of technical and vocational education institutions.


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How to Cite

Legusov, O. ., Jafar, H., & Bégin-Caouette , O. . (2023). International Students at Canadian Community Colleges: Emerging Trends. Journal of International Students, 13(3), 254–279.



Research Articles (English)