September 5, 2017

Urban Universities Avoid Trump and Brexit Effects in International Enrollment

LONDON, ENGLAND—Speaking on a panel on the future of education in uncertain political contexts at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit, New York University president Andrew Hamilton refuted the idea that the results of the 2016 United States presidential election would negatively influence enrollments of foreign students at all US universities. Holly Else reports for Times Higher Education that while forty percent of US universities reported a decline in foreign enrollments from the previous year, according to Hamilton, the number of international students at NYU “has never been higher.”

“Right now, we have seen no impact on applications [of international students]. It certainly won’t help, the rhetoric coming from Washington, but it has not at this point been as serious as we had feared. New York City has its own vibe and sense of itself that it projects to the world. It is a city that does not express particularly strong affection for [President Trump],” Hamilton said.

Humboldt University of Berlin president Sabine Kunst echoed Hamilton’s view, noting that city’s continued ability to draw young people as an advantage of luring European students away from British universities post-Brexit. “Universities of Berlin are trying to get a more leading role in German rankings to enforce the attractiveness of foreign students and scientists,” she said. One-fifth of Humboldt University’s international students came from the United Kingdom, a figure Kunst expected to change.

In April, a survey by Times Higher Education found that German universities increased enrollments of foreign students seven percent in 2016, contributing to a thirty percent increase since 2012.

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