Trump Election Boosts Interest in Canadian Universities

Trump Election Boosts Interest in Canadian Universities

Sabrina Collier

Updated January 7, 2024 Updated January 07

Canadian universities are reporting a noticeable boost in interest from US applicants following Donald Trump’s surprise win in the US election, ICEF Monitor reports.

The night of the US election results famously saw the Canadian government’s immigration website crash due to large volumes of traffic, and similar surges have been reported by many Canadian universities.

“Colleges from Quebec to British Columbia say applications and website traffic from the United States have been surging since Trump’s victory,” says the Associated Press (AP). “Although many Canadian schools had also ramped up recruiting in the US recently, some say dismay over the presidential election has fueled a spike in interest beyond their expectations.”

The University of Toronto reported a 10-fold increase in US visitors to its website, from 1,000 on 8 November (pre-results) to 10,000 the following day. The University of British Columbia noted that a website for just one of its graduate programs had received more than 30,000 visits on election night alone.

Google search terms for queries such as ‘university Canada’ also spiked in the immediate aftermath of the US election.

And here on, Canada (our most popular country guide in 2016) also received a significant spike in traffic from US users, with views almost 20 times higher on 9 November compared to the previous day.

Is this really about Donald Trump?

Some Canadian recruiters caution that Trump’s victory is only one factor affecting the increased interest from US students. The strengths of the universities themselves, and the appeal of Canada as a study destination, should not be overlooked.

In addition, the Canadian dollar has been weakening slightly against the US dollar in recent years, which makes studying in Canada somewhat more affordable for US students. However, these changes have remained relatively stable, suggesting that improved affordability plays a fairly minor role in the surge in US students interested in studying in Canada.

Aside from this, a number of Canadian institutions have stepped up their focus on student recruitment in the US, which again could play a part in the exceptional growth in US interest this year.

With the number of US students enrolled in Canadian institutions remaining steady in 2014 and 2015 at around 12,200, it remains to be seen whether this increased interest will be reflected in a dramatic growth in actual student numbers.

In the meantime, this spike in interest is likely to further encourage Canadian universities seeking to attract more students from the US. Elsewhere, interest in Canada continues to grow from other nations, with universities also reporting a growing interest among students in China, India and Pakistan.

Has the US election result influenced your choice of study destination? Share your experience in the comments below. 

This article was originally published in January 2017 . It was last updated in January 2020

Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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