News / Edmonton

U of A sees 'dramatic' increase in American student interest after Trump win

'It’s not like they’re just discovering Canada.'

More Americans could be students at the U of A next fall.

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More Americans could be students at the U of A next fall.

The University of Alberta saw a “dramatic” increase in interest from Americans following the election of President-elect Donald Trump, according to officials.

Every day, an average of 60 Americans read the school’s website for prospective students, but in the days following Trump’s surprise victory that number peaked at 390 Americans per day, said Vice-Provost (International) Britta Baron.

That’s an increase of 650 per cent.

It’s not just idle curiosity either: Applications from Americans for next fall are up 60 per cent so far, with several months left to go in the application process, she said.

As of Jan. 9, that meant 134 undergrad applications and 184 graduate applications from south of the border.

Baron said the spike is “totally not normal.”

While she said the university doesn't have research to show these are people fleeing Trump, she said it is a “fairly plausible explanation.”

She said the patterns of where applications come from is relatively predictable, and added that a random spike is especially unusual from a neighbouring country like the U.S.

“It’s not like they’re just discovering Canada,” she said.

American students tend to submit applications to more schools than students from other countries, Britta said, so the total number of American students coming to Edmonton won’t be anywhere near the number of applications submitted.

“Nevertheless, we can confidently assess that our student numbers from the U.S., as of September 2017, are going to be significantly up from not only last year, but every year since we started recruiting international students in any significant way.”  

Students may not be the only Americans jumping ship. The Canadian immigration website made headlines when it crashed as election results rolled in on Nov. 9.

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