The Don­ald Trump ef­fect

U of A see­ing slight uptick in in­ter­na­tional en­rol­ment

StarMetro Edmonton - - News - Lucy Haines

Of­fi­cials at the Univer­sity of Al­berta are point­ing to the so­called Trump Fac­tor to ex­plain a slight uptick in in­ter­na­tional stu­dent en­roll­ment.

Britta Baron, U of A vice pres­i­dent (in­ter­na­tional), says the elec­tion of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump in the U.S. Brexit in the U.K. are lead­ing to a slow­down in in­ter­na­tional en­roll­ment in those coun­tries.

While num­bers aren’t yet fi­nal­ized, the U of A re­ports 1,200 in­ter­na­tional un­der­grads en­rolled for 2017/18, up from 1,034 last year. In the last 10 years, in­ter­na­tional un­der­grads have jumped from 4 per cent of the stu­dent pop­u­la­tion, to 15 per cent cur­rently.

“At the U of A, we’ll see the full im­pact of po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated en­rol­ment in the fall of 2018. It was the same af­ter 9/11 with en­rol­ment in grad stu­dents from Iran,” said Baron, who also points to suc­cess­ful re­cruit­ment in China and more re­cently, south Asia (In­dia, Pak­istan, Bangladesh) as rea­son for the univer­sity’s healthy growth in in­ter­na­tional en­rol­ment.

“The po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion down south isn’t friendly to in­ter­na­tional stu­dents,” said U of A In­ter­na­tional Stu­dent As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent Mur­toza Manzur, a fifth-year po­lit­i­cal sci­ence stu­dent from Bangladesh.

He points to Trump’s end­ing of the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals (DACA) pro­gram this week as the lat­est de­ter­rant for peo­ple think­ing about im­mi­grat­ing to the U.S.

“DACA may es­pe­cially in­flu­ence grad stu­dents to re­main in Canada in­stead of seek­ing op­por­tu­nity in the States,” he said.

Manzur said, anec­do­tally, he’s seen a huge jump in un­der­grads com­ing from Bangladesh in re­cent years, up from 10 in his first year, to about 50 to­day.

“When we com­pare the xeno­pho­bic at­ti­tude in the U.S. to the welcoming one here, it’s no won­der,” he says. “And the qual­ity of ed­u­ca­tion is the same here, for less cost.”

Kevin Tuong/for meTro

in­ter­na­tional stu­dent As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent mur­toza manzur.

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