International Trade Minister Ed Fast says the government hopes a new program will see more than 450,000 international researchers and students enrolled at Canadian universities by 2022.
The aim is to attract students from six key countries — China, Brazil, India, Mexico, Turkey and Vietnam.
If successful, the program could result in a doubling of the number of international students studying in Canada.
Fast says he wants to see that happen while preserving current seat space in post-secondary institutions for Canadian students.
The government plans to spend $5 million annually to support the program.
Another $13 million over two years will be spent on the Globalink program, which also helps Canadian students study in other countries.
Fast says encouraging more international education helps to create jobs.
"This strategy will also help us advance Canada’s commercial interests in priority markets around the world," Fast said in a statement.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says the program will pump billions of dollars into the economy.