Canada beats US, UK as 'most desirable' country to study in

Brexit and Trump have made the UK, US less desirable international students

Had you asked a student in the EU where they'd most like to attend college a year ago, chances are they would've said the United Kingdom. The United States would fall within their top three choices, too. 

Now? Not so much.

After the Brexit vote and the United States' election of Donald Trump, EU students have changed their minds.

In a recent study, the Red Brick Research company surveyed 219 students from 60 different EU countries about the English-speaking countries where they would most like to attend college.

The results are as follows, in order of desirability:

  1. Canada;
  2. United Kingdom;
  3. Australia;
  4. United States; and
  5. New Zealand.

The order is significantly different than it was last year, when the UK came in first, followed by Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand rounding out the list. International students who are not from the EU still rank countries in this order.

Here's how your enrollment strategy could change under Trump

EU students were clear about why they changed their minds. Of survey respondents:

  • 64% say the Brexit vote makes the UK a less desirable place to attend school; and
  • 73% say the election of Donald Trump has makes the United States a less desirable place to attend school.

When asked why Brexit makes them view the U.K. as less desirable, respondents said they believe:

  • International students will be less welcome in the U.K. following Brexit;
  • Students from overseas will be less welcome to stay in the U.K. after graduating; and
  • The U.K. will no longer be as prosperous a place to work and study now that it isn't part of the EU.

(Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 1/16).

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