The Donald Trump effect
U of A seeing slight uptick in international enrolment
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.”
international student Association President murtoza manzur.