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Education

How US President Donald Trump Is Helping Canadian Universities

flickr/The City of Toronto

In an odd turn of events, US President Donald Trump’s election has resulted in something good for Canada: Universities here have seen an increase in international applications since Trump took office.

The University of Toronto, for instance, has noted a 57% increase in applications from India and an overall increase of 20% in acceptances from international students for the fall.

There have also been increases in international students at Wilfrid Laurier University (32%) and at McMaster University (33%). The percentage of international students who had accepted admission offers had increased by 27 per cent at the University of Alberta, back in May.

An influx of international students brings with it a considerable boost in the local economy.

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And while Canada is home to some top-notch universities, we might have our stereotypical image of being tolerant and kind to thank for this surge in international students.

“We have a rising tide of isolationism and exclusion in Europe, in the United States, and people are looking to Canada,” David Turpin, the president of the University of Alberta, told the Globe and Mail. “We will have these incredible students who will be educated in Canada, and in many, many cases go back home and build linkages that are crucial for our future development.”

Professor Ted Sargent from University of Toronto's international outreach agreed. He told BBC that Canada is sending a "message about being open to the world."

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Sargent said that Canada’s approach has been to "attract the brightest and the best" from around the world.

There are more than 350,000 international students in Canada.

No doubt Canada’s stance on immigration is different than the current policy in the US, and universities reflect that.

The University of Montreal, for example, has set up a travel fund for its international students for conferences they would have attended in the US prior to the travel ban.

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“The US political climate might indeed be one reason why more students are choosing to come to Montreal and Canada generally,” a spokeswoman for the University of Montreal told BBC. “They can have a North American study experience here, in a safe environment.”