Canadian colleges see a spike in U.S. student enrollment after Trump wins
For some college-bound students distressed by the election of Donald Trump, Canada is calling. A large number of Bernie Sanders supporters have decided that enrolling in Canadian colleges is better than hanging around the United States.
An Associated Press study showed that colleges from Quebec to British Columbia say applications and website traffic from the United States have been surging since Trump’s victory Nov. 8. Although many Canadian colleges had also ramped up recruiting in the U.S. recently, some say dismay over the presidential election has fueled a spike in interest beyond their expectations.
Applications to the University of Toronto from American students have jumped 70 percent compared with this time last year, while several other Canadian colleges have seen increases of 20 percent or more. U.S. applications to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, are up 34 percent so far.
One example isLara Godoff, a 17-year-old from Napa, California, said she scrapped any notion of staying in the U.S. the day after the election. Among other concerns, Godoff, a Democrat, said she fears Trump’s administration will ease enforcement of federal rules against sexual assault, making campuses less safe for women.
Godoff going to one of a number of Canadian colleges, very attractive, so she applied to one but added three more as safety schools after the election.
“If we live in a country where so many people could elect Donald Trump, then that’s not a country I want to live in,” she said.
“We can’t ignore the election results, but I think there are other strengths that are attracting students to the university, as well,” said Jennifer Peterman, senior manager of global undergraduate recruitment at McGill University in Montreal. Students are also drawn by the school’s diversity and Canada’s affordable cost of living, she said.
In the U.S., officials at some colleges say it’s clear Trump’s election is tilting enrollment patterns. Some recruiters say foreign students are avoiding the U.S. amid worries about safety and deportation, opting for Canadian colleges or Australia instead. And Canadian colleges have noticed growing interest from China, India and Pakistan.
“I think everybody in international education is a little uneasy, in part because some of the rhetoric in the campaign frightened people overseas,” said Stephen Dunnett, vice provost for international education at the University at Buffalo. “It’s going to be perhaps a little bit rocky for a couple of years.”
Although it’s too early to say how many U.S. students will enroll in Canada next fall, some colleges expect to see more Americans on campus based on the flurry of interest.
Traditionally, Canada hasn’t been a hugely popular college destination for Americans. In 2014, it drew about 9,000 students from the U.S., compared with 57,000 from China, according to the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
But as Canada’s population ages, it is increasingly looking outside its borders for students. In 2014, the government announced plans to double the country’s number of foreign students by 2022. Many of the nation’s 125 universities have responded by stepping up recruiting in the U.S., promising students an international experience close to home.
A number of other colleges have sent more recruiters to the U.S. and are building ties with high schools, but officials say they aren’t trying to exploit any post-election fallout.
The goal for most of these Canadian universities is the same as the ones in the United States. To expand their international student base which builds up a strong worldwide following.
Some quotes used in this story came from Associated Press.