Iran has become a top source country of foreign students to Canada in the last five years. The number of Iranian visa students is up 50 per cent from two years ago.
Janet Hurd, director of University of Toronto’s student recruitment, said the rising Iran foreign student population reflects Canada’s growing competitiveness in the international student market. Last year, the school had 130 Iranian visa students and 566 domestic students of Iranian descent.
Administrators say some of these students are transplanting to Canada to do what they could only do underground at Iranian campuses: organizing political forums, a mock Iranian election, protests and even radio podcasts to talk about sensitive community issues.