According to a new plan released this week, the Canadian government hopes to attract 450,000 international students by 2022. This is double the current number of international students currently studying in the country.

Though significant, this 450,000 goal is not without precedent. The number of international students in Canada has been increasing at a steady pace. In 2012, more than 265,000 foreign students were studying across the country, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. In total, international student levels have risen a staggering 94 percent since 2001.

At present, Canada ranks 7th worldwide in terms of the number of international students it hosts each year. However, its numbers are increasing faster than in any other country.

International students benefit Canada in a number of ways. In 2010, it is estimated that they spent more than $8 billion on tuition, accommodation, and other expenses. In addition, they supported over 86,000 jobs. Many students remain in Canada after their studies, pursuing either temporary work or permanent residency. These students help to strengthen Canada’s labour market while enjoying the country’s economic opportunities and high quality of life.