U.S. uncertainty means more foreign student cash for Canada?

The head of Canada’s biggest university organization says there’s growing evidence

OTTAWA — The head of Canada’s biggest university organization says there’s growing evidence that post-U.S. election uncertainty could help boost an important source of cash for the economy: international students.

Universities Canada president Paul Davidson says the number of U.S. students applying to study in Canada for next fall has surged since the election last November.

Davidson says the overall economic benefit for Canada from foreign students — including their much-higher tuition fees — was estimated at $11.4 billion in 2014.

He also cites federal research that estimates the combined impact from tuition, housing and discretionary spending by international students was greater than Canadian exports of softwood lumber, financial services or wheat.

He says Canadian universities have also seen more interest this year from countries like India and Mexico, where many of their students have historically applied to study in the U.S.

Davidson says the unknowns in the U.S. under President Donald Trump and in the post-Brexit United Kingdom have also led to more inquiries from Nobel-calibre researchers who are considering moving to Canada.

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