Trump more of a turn-off to international students than Brexit – study
A participant throws a piece of paper reading "Trump and Brexit" into a trash can to be shredded during "Good Riddance Day" in Times Square, New York City, U.S., December 28, 2016. Good Riddance Day is an annual event held in New York City for people to shred pieces of paper representing their bad memories or things they want to get rid of before the New Year. Image via Reuters

In an ugly war deciding which is more irksome, the Trump effect was found to make the U.S. even less desirable than Brexit did to international students, a recent study found.

The survey by Red Brick Research titled “The Brexit Effect: An International Perspective on the Student Experience” was conducted on 219 international students from 60 different countries who are currently studying at UK universities.

Up to 73 percent of respondents said President-elect Donald J. Trump has made the U.S. a less desirable place to study. Across the pond, Brexit fared slightly better, but not by much, at 64 percent.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks to diplomats at the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) Chairman’s Global Dinner in Washington, U.S. January 17, 2017. Image via Reuters.

Conversely, three percent of respondents found the USA more desirable due to Trump, while five percent thought Brexit made the UK more desirable.

Canada trumps them all

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a meeting with representatives of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on January 10, 2017. Image via Reuters.

The two biggest political shocks of 2016 helped pave the way for a new favourite among foreign students: Canada.

Canada has now overtaken the UK and the USA as the most attractive English-speaking country for EU students.

A year ago, the UK ranked first in terms of preference, followed by Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.

Now, the order has turned, putting Canada first, followed by UK, Australia, USA, and finally, New Zealand.

Another country is set to benefit from the debacle on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: Germany. When asked to name an alternative destination to study, Germany topped the list for both EU and non-EU respondents.

Less welcome to study and stay

Tourists carrying umbrellas walk in the rain during a spell of wet weather, next to The Tower of London, in London, Britain January 15, 2017. Image via Reuters.

It also appears from the study that the Brexiteers’ wish to drive migrants out of the UK have worked.

Nearly six in 10 students (59 percent) said they believe that international students are less welcome in UK following the Brexit vote. An overwhelming 74 percent said they felt that foreign graduates are less welcome to remain after completing their studies at UK institutions.

For both EU and non-EU students, 68 percent said they definitely would or probably would choose a UK university now. But this figure drops considerably to merely 41 percent when asked if they would choose the UK after the country exits the EU.

International students bring in a revenue of more than more than £7 billion to the British economy. Statistically, the percentage of foreign students lost is limited to two digits or three at most. In reality, however, the losses in revenue goes to the millions. The loss in human capital and reputation would be even more devastating.

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