|Year||International Enrolment||Imputed Retention Rate|
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Data Table: Admissions of Permanent Residents to Nova Scotia who have ever held a Study Permit (Economic Classes only) and Enrolment of International Students at Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions.
|Year||Transitions/ Admissions||International P.S. Students Enrolled**||Imputed Retention Rate|
**Data are not available for International Students enrolled at the Nova Scotia Community College before 2012. However, past reports estimate that roughly 1% of NSCC’s total enrolments were international enrolments. Therefore, 1% of total NSCC enrolments have been added to the data from MPHEC for years prior to 2012.
Measuring this retention rate is not a clear-cut task. The methodology chosen most closely estimates the baseline provided in The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy. This approach does not measure an individual student’s likelihood of being retained, as it can partially mismatch cohorts with longer/shorter durations of study. Instead, it functions as an ‘attrition’ or churn rate, representing the flow of new permanent residents as a share of the pool of students from which they come.
Importantly, there are two factors which influence this rate: the number of students enrolling at Nova Scotian post-secondary institutions and the number of them transitioning to permanent residency. In the longer term both numbers are increasing in absolute terms, though the number of transitions decreased in 2020 and the number of students decreased in 2021. In relative terms, there is a volatile relationship between the two, as one may grow faster than the other in one year, but slower in the following year. Overall, this means that the imputed retention rate changes significantly.
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The policies which facilitate these transitions have changed. The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP) allows the Province of Nova Scotia to nominate specific individuals for a fast-tracked immigration process. Policies such as the Immigrant Entrepreneur Stream and Express-Entry Streams of the NSNP show the Province is open to targeting international graduates as a source of economic and demographic growth.
|Year||NSNP Transitions||Federal Transitions|
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Looking at the shares over time, federal streams produced an average of 123 new permanent residents a year prior to 2018. Since the launch of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP) in 2018, this has increased to 1,250 new residents per year from federal programs, with 3,485 federal transitions in 2021. The NSNP has also become a growing source of new immigrants, increasing to an all-time high of 920 new immigrants in 2021 from a low of 35 in 2005.
The federal and provincial governments have recently announced that AIP has completed its pilot and is now a permanent program. The Nova Scotia Nominee Program (and similar programs across Atlantic Canada) have also expanded to include more accommodating eligibility criteria and allow for up to 2,000 additional nominations by the provinces. This program has seen moderate uptake among employers looking to hire international graduates and demonstrated continued growth in retention until the 2020 global pandemic. While the province has seen progress towards its goals, we must continue attracting and retaining talent if we are to thrive in the face of these new circumstances.
CHANGES TO THE INDICATOR, BASELINE, OR TARGET:
- A methodology was established to estimate the retention rate, as no previous methodology had been established.
- Due to data limitations, the denominator for this rate has been changed to reflect the number of international enrolments, rather than graduates. This estimate most closely matches the estimated share expressed in The Report of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy.
- To minimize the inclusion of primary and secondary students in the data, Sponsored, Refugee, and Humanitarian classes of immigrants have been excluded.