Why come to the University of Toronto? What influences students’ program choice? Up until September 2023, we didn’t know the answers to these questions. But now we do!
The 124 students who attended International Foundation Program (IFP) Orientation answered a quick survey that told us why they chose to apply to the University of Toronto. The top three reasons for choosing the UofT were:
- It is my dream university (1st choice of 68%).
- My high school advisors or education agent recommended studying here (1st or 2nd choice of 35%).
- My family wanted me to study here.
The results show that the student’s family was certainly an influence, but the primary reason students wanted to come to the UofT was its reputation. It is notable that educational advisors such as high school counsellors and agents are highly influential on student choices.
We also asked students what program category they applied to at the university. The most popular program category was Physical and Mathematical Sciences which attracted 40% of the students. They will go on to such disciplines as Economics, Math, or Physics, among others.
One third of the students (33%) chose the Social Sciences program category, which includes the highly popular Economics degree. The remaining 27% of students chose Life Sciences, Humanities, Computer Science and Rotman Commerce. Only 9 students were admitted to the highly competitive last two program categories.
Asked why they chose their program category, four reasons rose to the top:
- It is what I’ve always wanted to study.
- I think I can get a good job when I graduate.
- I think I can get the best grades by studying in this program.
- The U of T is known for excellence in this area.
Saying “it is what I’ve always wanted to study” is true of 57% of the Life Science students, 44% of the Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and 35% of the Social Science students. Notably, 7 of the students who entered Social Sciences reported that they did not get accepted into their program of first choice: Computer Science or Rotman Commerce.
Clearly, the combination of passion for the area of study and its potential to provide a rewarding career is motivating the international students who come to the UofT through the IFP pathway program.
By Dr. Karen Englander, IFP Research Officer