China, Singapore, and various other countries are using a university ranking system for work visa permission as part of their strategy to strengthen their universities.

This multiculturalism-focused approach brings with it several debates, including questions about language dominance, competition, and the role of public funding. How will the universities evolve globally as more countries adapt to this system in the next 20 years? Let's delve into this matter.

We estimate that in 2017 and 2018 respectively, international students in Canada spent $18.4 billion and $22.3 billion on tuition, accommodation, and discretionary spending. The economic impacts presented in this report focus on the combined direct and indirect impacts associated with such spending.

Src: Government of Canada

Emergence of International Students:

International students from different corners of the world contribute significantly to a country's academic competitiveness and diversity. Therefore, some might argue that investing in international students should rank high on a country's agenda. However, this would require considerable financial resources, which in some cases might exceed even the revenue of big sectors like car exports in Canada.

The Advantages and Pitfalls of Competition:

While it's true that bringing in international students increases competitiveness and, by extension, potential innovation, it comes with its own set of challenges like high costs and potential imbalance in academic standards. Perhaps it’s worth considering a model where public funds are channeled to top-performing universities, while less competitive institutions are left to generate revenue independently.

The Persistent Question of English Dominance:

An interesting development in higher education is whether the dominance of English-speaking universities, like Harvard, will persist. But as non-English universities continue to adopt English as their instruction medium, it's likely going to change the global academic landscape, causing a reevaluation of which institutions hold the most prestige and command the highest tuition.

The Evolving Market:

Despite any perceived negative trends, more people around the world are aspiring to join the middle class and can afford higher education levels. This could lead to an uptick in foreign students seeking quality education regardless of the competitiveness of the institution they choose. However, it remains uncertain if local universities could then be seen as an equally beneficial alternative choice.

The Shifting Role of Universities:

Universities hold a significant societal role that extends beyond providing education. They are credentialing institutions, providing a necessary filter in various professional sectors. However, with the rise of online learning, the notion of mass education through universities is somewhat challenged. Being unique and adaptable may hold more weight now.


The multicultural approach to internationally recognizing university rankings is not going anywhere for a while. The education landscape now leans towards diversifying its offerings to adapt to the changing demands and capabilities of our global society. Despite inevitable challenges, one thing is clear – uniqueness and adaptability are the new currency in today's education system.