International admissions skyrocket at Canadian universities

Many Canadian universities have experienced an uptick in applicants and enrollment from the United States and Europe, Simona Chiose writes for the Globe and Mail.

Some believe the trend has been driven by President Trump's election and Brexit.

"We have a rising tide of isolationism and exclusion in Europe, in the United States, and people are looking to Canada," says David Turpin, president of the University of Alberta. A recent study by Red Brick Research found that 73% of EU students said Trump's election made the United States a less desirable place to attend college. The United States also ranked fourth, just above New Zealand, in order of where the students desired to attend college.

New survey results: Political climate could jeopardize international student enrollments

Since last year, the University of Alberta has seen a 27% increase in international students who accepted admissions offers. The University of Toronto has doubled its percentage of American students who accepted an offer, and Queens University has seen a 40% increase in international students accepting offers. The trend extends to smaller institutions such as Brock University, which is expecting over a one-third increase in international students next year.

"We have a lot of the positives of the tech-savvy and energy of the U.S., but some of the safety net of European countries. Maybe that has been enhanced due to world events," says Ravin Balakrishnan, chair of the computer science department at the University of Toronto.

While the Trump administration may have contributed to the uptick in interest in Canadian institutions, other world events may also play a role, Chiose writes. For example, the British government recently decided to include international students in caps on migration numbers (Chiose, Globe and Mail, 5/14).

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