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After Trump’s win, more U.S. students consider Canadian colleges

American college officials say Trump’s election is tilting enrolment patterns


 
In this photo taken Dec. 15, 2016, Washington are high school students attend a recruitment event by the University of Toronto, in Washington. In the wake of the presidential election, more U.S. students are thinking about going to college in Canada. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

In this photo taken Dec. 15, 2016, Washington are high school students attend a recruitment event by the University of Toronto, in Washington. In the wake of the presidential election, more U.S. students are thinking about going to college in Canada. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

For some college-bound students distressed by the election of Donald Trump, Canada is calling.

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 schools had also ramped up recruiting in the U.S. recently, some say dismay over the presidential election has fuelled a spike in interest beyond their expectations.

Lara Godoff, a 17-year-old from Napa, Calif., 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 had applied to one college in Canada 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.

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Applications to the University of Toronto from American students have jumped 70 per cent compared with this time last year, while several other Canadian schools have seen increases of 20 per cent or more. U.S. applications to McMaster University in Hamilton are up 34 per cent so far.

“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 enrolment patterns. Some recruiters say foreign students are avoiding the U.S. amid worries about safety and deportation, opting for Canada or Australia instead. And Canadian schools 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 enrol 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.

In Washington this month, the University of Toronto hosted a panel on the election and asked local alumni to bring prospective students, hoping some might apply.

Among those at the event was 17-year-old Rebekah Robinson, of Baltimore, who had already visited the school and plans to enrol. She joked with her parents about escaping to Canada to flee Trump but said she sees that as just a bonus.

“I really liked the school,” she said. “I liked the programs they offered, and I thought it was a great fit for me, so the president and the election just kind of played a small factor in it.”

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.


 
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After Trump’s win, more U.S. students consider Canadian colleges

  1. Why would Canadian Universities want these snowflakes.?? I don’t believe we provide safe spaces and teddy bears. Do we have trigger words here? I sure hope not.

  2. I personally don’t think this observation is a Trump effect.
    I think the #1 reason is because of the $$$. US $ goes further in Canada, even after foreign tuition charges are factored in.
    The one young lady quoted in the article mentioned safer campuses in Canada. I don’t buy that one bit. Statistics are unfortunately nearly equal for campus sex assault in both Canada/US. Most academics also point out that Canada campuses are very under-reported on sex assaults.
    Finally. Although a few more US students may be heading to Canada, the article should also mention that more international students actually attend post-secondary school in the US then any other country in the world. For example, a record number of Canadian’s are also attending US universities and colleges. Is that because of the “Trump effect”?

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