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Trump win turns off 57% of int’l students

Over half of international students say they are now less likely to study in the US than before the US election result, according to a recent survey from global course search platform, StudyPortals.

Canada is the most popular alternative destination to the US, according to 61% of student respondents. Photo: Gage Skidmore.

Among international students, 57% said they are now less likely to study in the US than before

Responses from student from US students as well as overseas students, found that even domestic students feel less inclined to study in the country, following Trump’s victory.

The website surveyed 1,354 students after the results were announced to gauge the initial attitudes towards studying in the US after the election on November 8.

“International students do seem to be less affected than American students”

The questions, answered between November 11-15, began by asking if the respondent would consider studying in the US – and 75% said they would.

However, among international students, 57% said they are now less likely to study in the US than before.

According to the researchers, the main reason for this decreased desire is that the participants “perceive the US to be less welcoming towards international students”, a sentiment shared by 87% of overseas respondents.

“To see that more than half of students considering studying in the US are now less likely to do so is quite a strong message that US universities need to address in the coming weeks and months as Mr. Trump prepares to begin his presidency,” Carmen Neghina, head of intelligence at StudyPortals, told The PIE News.

“[This is] to ensure that politics will not have an impact on the quality of American education or its attractiveness for international students,” she said.

Canada is the most popular alternative destination to the US, according to the research, an opinion shared by 61% of students, followed by the UK (55%) and Germany (42%).

Among US student respondents, 85% said they are now less likely to study in their home country – a significantly higher proportion than international students.

In addition to a perceived unwelcoming environment in the US, American students are also concerned the US may potentially becoming weaker with Trump as president.

“International students do seem to be less affected than American students,” explained Neghina.


“Partially because many of them do not necessarily want to stay in the United States following their education, and believe that universities are independent and are not strongly influenced by political debates.”

Conversely, 15% of US respondents said they are in fact more likely to stay and study in the US after Trump’s victory.

There is also an array of positive responses about Trump from international students who are not deterred from studying in the US.

“Mr. Trump being a businessman, I strongly believe he will make sure that the field of education is improving more than before,” said one international student.

“The education system will be run based on economic theories which will improve the results and reduce unnecessary expenditures.”

The research also notes that “most students have confidence in the quality of the American education and degrees” regardless the country’s political leaders, and don’t predict its value will decrease in the foreseeable future.

The results reflect those of pre-election surveys on international students: one found that 60% of international students would be less likely to choose the US as a study destination in the event of a Trump victory, with a second pointing out that 65% of international students are more likely to opt for the US if Clinton wins.

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2 Responses to Trump win turns off 57% of int’l students

  1. IMHO, the US brand will continue to be the No:1 choice destination for HE. Simply because US HE is a status symbol for foreign students. To suggest it’s directly related to Trump is just a knee-jerk reaction. What may dissuade the student is in the appreciation of the USD which is at 12 year high on a index weighted basis — the expectation is that the dollar will continue to rise so this will be a major factor in the cost. What Brexit and US elections have proved is that mainstream media got it all wrong … so if the UK is perceived to be unwelcoming also which Anglophone destination will absorb these students?

  2. The truth of the matter is that Donald Trump is a loose cannon. We are never sure what he will do and the consequences that may occur because of his behavior. He has flipped flopped on so many issues.

    International students who are desiring to study climate change, environmental studies or ecology in the United States may have the most challenges as he does not believe in funding these efforts. Trump may even decide to cut funding completely. So why would they study here? Also, the shock of a Trump presidency has surprised the world. The uncertainty of safety would be a concern to many students as the news of campus protests and riots have been broadcasted across news media outlets all over the world.

    If I wanted to travel to another country to study and observed colleges in protest with the President Elect.. I might not travel either for fear of my safety or not being a citizen of that country.

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