American universities are known for hosting a good number of international students, but a close neighbor is starting to take the country’s place as the most popular destination for foreign higher learning: Canada.
Quite a few Canadian schools have cited increases in applications
According to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, in a survey that questioned more than 250 American colleges and universities, around 39% of American schools found a decline in international applications. By contrast, Canadian schools have seen an increase in their international applications. Wilfrid Laurier University saw a 32% increase, McMaster University saw a 33% increase, and the University of Toronto saw a 20% increase.
According to Leigh-Ellen Keating, the director of international services of Ontario’s Brock University, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, “The table was flooded with people, which is not historically what I have seen. They just want to go to Canada, and historically I think a lot of them would go to the States.”
Why is this happening?
A common reason for this is simple cost difference between American and Canadian schools. On average, the cost for an international student to attend a public university in Canada is around $17,264. For their American counterparts, the average cost is somewhat higher, at around $24,930. In addition, international students are also said to be unlikely to receive financial aid in the United States.
That said, others suppose that the situation is politics as usual. Alan Shepard, the president of Concordia University in Quebec, attributed this all to what had been dubbed the “Trump effect.” According to a statement from Shepard with The New York Times, “The so-called Trump Effect is real when it comes to enrollment in Canada. Applications from international students for this coming fall’s semester have surged.”
According to The Washington Post, this viewpoint is shared by some American school officials. Dennis Hanno, president of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, added that, “Our political climate appeared to be the problem…If this is a trend, it is worrisome.”
“The world’s view of the United States as a land of opportunity is based, in no small measure, on the possibilities that our colleges and universities create.”