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International Students

Ryerson is among the most diverse universities in the world, yet when compared with peer institutions its international students make up a relatively small proportion of its student body. International students provide an important element of diversity, and can help build a culture of global engagement at the university by sharing their experiences and viewpoints in the classroom, through facilitated intercultural programming and through social interaction. Ryerson’s unique program offerings and its favourable urban location both point to a strong potential for growth, especially at a time when Canadian institutions of learning are becoming increasingly attractive to international students – as of 2017, Canada surpassed both France and Australia to become the fourth most popular destination country among international students globally.

Goals Recommendations
  1. Increase the intake of international students to 1,790 annually.
  2. Increase the participation in the Real Institute ESL Foundation Program to 600 students annually.
  3. Reach 4,500+ registered international full-time equivalent students by 2022-23 academic year.
  • Commit to the provision of resources necessary to maintain or improve current standards of support provided to international students as their numbers on campus continue to grow.
  • Continue to invest in a robust international student recruitment strategy and explore opportunities for coordination with other elements of international outreach activity.

It is Ryerson’s intention to significantly increase the number of international students at the university.

Efforts are Underway

The Office of the Provost has formulated a student recruitment strategy in conjunction with the Office of the Registrar, the University Planning Office, the Yeates School of Graduate Studies and the Real Institute. This strategy has received the full support of Ryerson’s Board of Governors. The recruitment of international undergraduate students requires significant investment of time and resources. The strategy is currently being implemented and is already showing strong results. The need to carefully manage the risk of overreliance on enrolments by students from one or two specific source countries is recognized. Continuing to carefully build Ryerson’s international reputation and profile will play a critical role in ensuring that we can compete with our peer institutions here in Ontario and beyond.

The university’s efforts are being carefully coordinated both to avoid the potential hazards of a drop-off in applications from a key country and to ensure that we are taking full advantage of the benefits of a globally diverse student body. The Real Institute ESL Foundation Program represents an important element of Ryerson’s strategy to recruit growing numbers of highly qualified international students. The Real Institute also has the capacity to develop new short-term and on-demand English as an Additional Language (EAL) programming that will build Ryerson’s international presence.

International Undergraduate Enrolments* Actual Projected
Year 1 intake (headcount) 480 677 840 1,000 1,290 1,540 1,790 1,790 1,790 1,790
Change over 2017-18     163 323 613 863 1,113 1,113 1,113 1,113
Change over 2017-18 %     24% 38% 61% 67% 72% 62% 62% 62%
Total international FFTEs 1,140 1,473 1,920 2,400 3,000 3,700 4,500 5,100 5,400 5,600
as % of total undergraduate 4% 5% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 15% 16% 16%

*Numbers do not include Chang School international students or The Real Institute ESL Foundation Program.

Ensuring a Quality Experience

Ryerson is, and will continue to be, a leader in international student support. This means maintaining and enhancing the broad range of support programs currently in existence. Word of mouth is a significant medium through which reputation is developed, and providing the conditions for academic, personal and professional success are of central importance  As such, the university will continue to ensure that students find community, a sense of belonging and are supported in all aspects of being an international student. Ryerson will continue to invest the resources necessary to nurture student engagement and success through exceptional experiences, even as the number of international students on campus increases.

Ryerson will also continue to develop faculty and instructor resources to support international students and internationalization in the classroom. The attention to internationalization of the curriculum as part of efforts to enhance global learning will also include the creation of a teaching and learning best practices toolkit that will outline teaching strategies for actively integrating international students and their unique perspectives in the classroom. By implementing these strategies, Ryerson will not only ensure that our international students are engaged, but that a globalized perspective can be more effectively explored by leveraging their experiences and perspectives to contribute to the learning environment.