Application Trends from North America


In a previous monthly article, a broad overview of UK NARIC applicant data from African countries was provided – the following brief summary explores similar recent trends in enquiry numbers from North and Central America and the Caribbean.

Since 2008, from the region as a whole, UK NARIC have received between 2,000 and 3,000 enquiries annually, roughly 6-8% of the total number undertaken every year.  Below, the number of assessments we have undertaken for applicants from the most popular countries (plus the overall ranking) over the past four years highlights the predominance of US applicants, despite a recent drop in numbers:

Country 2008 assmts 2008 rank 2009 assmts 2009 rank 2010 assmts 2010 rank 2011 assmts 2011 rank
Canada 647 16th 671 14th 735 13th 626 15th
Cuba 34 81st 32 86th 43 79th 35 82nd
Jamaica 245 31st 256 32nd 165 40th 139 43rd
Mexico 87 54th 84 51st 148 43rd 107 47th
Trinidad and Tobago 49 70th 53 74th 45 72nd
USA 1613 7th 1888 6th 1680 6th 1118 9th
Other 39 89 1469
Total 2626 3019 2913 2137

As can be seen, the total number of evaluations has fallen by over 25% over the year or so (2913 in 2010 and 2157 in 2011), a substantial drop and well in excess of the general, global trend.

In terms of specific national profiles, the USA, Canada and Jamaica are the largest source of applications, but – barring Canada – their respective share of the total number of assessments from the region has diminished over the period:

Country 2008 2009 2010 2011
USA 61% 62% 58% 52%
Canada 25% 22% 25% 29%
Jamaica 9% 8% 6% 7%
Other 5% 8% 11% 12%

Qualification level of migrants

Looking at the US, Canada and Jamaica in more detail, it is interesting to note the differing profile of enquirers.

The table below shows the breakdown of the level of qualifications submitted from these three countries during 2011:

USA (1118) Canada (626) Jamaica (139) Global
Qualification level Examples % Examples % Examples % %
Below Level 3 on the UK Qualifications Framework (QCF) High School Graduation Diploma, Diploma in Network Engineering 18% Grade 11 Secondary School Diploma (general level), Diplôme d`Etudes Secondaires (DES) (Secondary School Diploma) 2% Jamaica School Certificate, National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica – Level I in Data Operations 33% 23%
A level and Sub-Degree Equivalents (QCF Levels 3, 4 and 5) Associate Degree in Arts, Associate in Science (Nursing) 8% High School Graduation Diploma, Diploma of Technology (Medical Laboratory Science) 37% Certificate in Secondary Teacher Education, General Certificate of Education (Advanced Level) 30% 25%
British Bachelor level Bachelor of Art 41% Bachelor of Education (Junior / Intermediate) 52% Bachelor of Education 26% 34%
Postgraduate CFA Level III Examination, Master of Arts in Teaching 21% Maître en Administration des Affaires (MBA) 3% Diploma in Business Administration 4% 10%
No comparison available 12% 6% 7% 8%

Whilst the sample sizes vary significantly, it is nonetheless clear that Jamaican applicants in 2011 have tended to hold lower level qualifications, both than their North American counterparts and the global average.

In contrast to the 30% of Jamaican applicants that hold a Bachelor or postgraduate qualification, the equivalent proportion for Canada is 55%, with the vast majority of these applicants being first degree holders. An even higher percentage of US applicants hold at least a Bachelor degree, although it is interesting to note that 21% specifically hold a postgraduate award.

Tim Buttress, June 2012