Trump impact on international recruitment: Part 2
In the last blog post I shared with you some of the likely implications on future international student recruitment and enrollment as a result of recent executive orders and new regulations. This blog will focus on three countries likely to benefit from the uncertainty in the United States: Canada, Australia and China.
On January 28, 2017, Canada’s The Globe and Mail reported that at many Canadian universities, applications from American students for the 2017-18 academic year are up between 20 to 80 percent compared with last year. There are several reasons for this, including an effective Canadian recruitment program in the United States, a drop in the Canadian dollar, improved visa processing and uncertainty over future U.S. higher education regulations. Additionally, Montreal was rated first on a list of global student cities, edging out Paris for the first time. Affordability, quality of education and student experience, were some of the factors for the ranking.
Canada is now the destination of choice for Mexican students. and between 2013 and 2015 the number of Indian students enrolling in Canadian schools increased by 40 percent.
According to the Australian Department of Education and Training, international student enrollment increased 10 percent to 554,179 last year. In the latest survey of international students, 89 percent indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with their overall educational experience in Australia. The reputation of the Australian higher education universities and colleges and personal safety and security were listed as some of the reasons for student satisfaction.
The Turnbull government is committed to international student outreach and last year international student revenue in Australia was AU$ 21.8, making it Australia’s third-largest export.
China’s educational policies and outreach stand in stark to the uncertainty in the United States over future international student enrollment regulations. Generous funding by the Chinese government is attracting noted scientists and scholars. Similar funding of international Asian and African students has made China an attractive alternative to the United States. The Chinese have taken “soft power” to a new level.
I do believe that when the September international student enrollment numbers are reported in November, many schools in the United States will report a decline in their international student population. True, the top colleges and universities will not be affected but many smaller schools will.
I am reminded that similar gloom and doom articles were written after the September,2001 attacks in the United States. Yet, after a few years, international students did return to the U.S. for study. But I would argue that the international student recruitment market has become much more competitive than it was in 9.11.2001. And it will be more difficult to regain market share.
International deans and recruiters should prepare now for the certainty of the uncertainty in U.S. international recruitment and enrollment.