LONDON, ONT. (CUP) — Not since the War of 1812 have so many Americans headed North – there are more American students coming to Canadian universities than ever before.
Robert Best, vice-president-national affairs for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, said there are numerous reasons for the influx of American students.
“Canada provides study abroad [for American students] close at hand, with no linguistic challenges. Canadian universities are also affordable, with the Canadian dollar being the way it is,” Best said, adding large research facilities with a range of opportunities add to the interest in Canada.
Bruce Skeaff, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, said there are no special recruitment programs. “We don’t need to recruit Americans, they come on their own,” Skeaff added.
The Canadian Embassy in Washington – which grants student visas to Americans – does run major promotions, said Jennifer Humphreys, a spokesperson for the Canadian Bureau for International Education.
“[The embassy] promotes Canadian universities by giving out newsletters and going to university fairs and high schools in America,” Humphreys said, adding the embassy encourages Canadian universities to go to the U.S. to promote their institutions.
“There are about 4,000 Americans [at Canadian universities],” Humphreys said. “There’s an imbalance in trade, with about 26,000 Canadians studying in America.”
Canadian universities have been promoting themselves to prospective American students by being more active in telling their stories abroad, Best said.
“In general, [Canadian universities] spend more time and attention going to America to promote their schools,” he added.
As a result, Best said there is increased awareness in the U.S. about Canadian universities.