On the day after it was announced that Donald Trump had been elected as the 45th president of the United States, universities in Canada noticed an unusual spike in traffic to their websites.
The university’s vice president of international, Ted Sargent, said it was “pretty striking”, adding that U of T, as well as other Canadian universities, was seeing an increase in interest from international students from outside the U.S. who would have otherwise chosen to study at a U.S. institution prior to the election.
Richard Levin, the university’s executive director of enrolment services and registrar, commented that American students were probably considering Canada and the university as they were looking to study in a tolerant and inclusive environment.
— UofT News (@UofTNews) November 18, 2016
The Globe and Mail also noted that Google searches in the U.S. for “college Canada” and “university Canada” went up after the election, with the majority coming from New York and California, states which had voted for Trump’s Democratic Party opponent, Hillary Clinton.
“Both terms were searched more than twice as much on November 9 than on any other day in the last five years,” it reported.
Kim Bartlett, director of admissions at McGill University, said the university was receiving hundreds more applications from Americans compared to the same period last year.
“We’ve faced elections, we’ve faced currency devaluations and earthquakes and wars. There’re a lot of world events that can have an impact on the number of applications, but admissions requirements stay the same,” she told the paper.
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) November 19, 2016
At a study fair in New Delhi recently, Aman Kumar, 18, told the New York Times that though he was originally considering studying in the U.S., he was reconsidering after Trump’s election.
“In his campaign, he’s discriminating against Muslim and other brown and black people,” he said, adding, “I’m thinking of applying to Canada.”
Studying in Canada would also have two other benefits for students from the U.S., according to Levin.
The relatively low value of the Canadian dollar to the U.S. dollar would make it a more affordable option, in addition to its geographical proximity to the U.S.
“It’s not a huge transition” for American students to study at U of T, he said, adding, “There are some differences, as we know, when we cross the border, but it’s easy to go back home for the holidays.”
— TimesHigherEducation (@timeshighered) November 22, 2016
The sudden popularity in Canadian education has not only been seen among students, but academics too.
According to Times Higher Education, its university jobs website saw a 17-fold jump in views of the Canada listings page from U.S. academics on November 9 compared with the same day the week before (November 2).
In a guest editorial in The Collegian, the daily newspaper at Kansas State University, associate professor of philosophy Jon Mahoney criticized President-elect Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S.
“If a Muslim biology professor from Europe is thinking about whether to take a teaching or research position at K-State, don’t you think President-elect Trump’s proposal will make it difficult for us to recruit that professor?” he questioned.
Image via Shutterstock