Record number of students flock to Quebec's smallest English-language university

Foreign students, especially from the U.S., are opting for Bishop's University in Sherbrooke.

Political climate, travel attract American students to study at Bishop's University

Bishop's University held an open house this weekend for students with potential interest in attending the university next year. (Radio-Canada)

After reaching a record number of new students this year, the enrolment trend at Bishop's University is continuing to climb upward.

The English-language university in Sherbrooke, Que., now has close to 2,800 students on its roster — the largest cohort it has welcomed since it was founded 174 years ago.

Following struggles to balance the books in recent years, the boom also comes a few months after the small liberal arts university secured a $4-million annual increase from the Quebec government.

An increasing number of international students are coming to Bishop's to study, with the largest chunk of them coming from the U.S.

More and more students from China and France are attending the university, and 64 countries are represented on campus. 
Audrey Roy, like many other Americans, is interested in attending Bishop’s in the fall. (Radio-Canada)

Audrey Roy was born in California, and now lives in New York State. Like many other Americans, she's interested in attending Bishop's in the fall and attended the open house this weekend.

"If I get my education in Canada, it will cost much less to have the same quality of education as in the United States," Roy said.

Bishop's welcomed 945 new students this year, a 9.4 per cent increase. Students from other Canadian provinces and abroad make up one third.

In 2016, the university welcomed 845 new students.

Political climate, travel are incentives to study in Canada

For international students, attending Bishop's for a bachelor's degree costs around $21,000 per year, not including accommodation and meals.

But apart from economic reasons, some young Americans want to see what's happening in other parts of the world.

"There are a lot of people who don't like Trump, but I think it's possible we'll see some changes in the future and we'll learn from what's happening right now," Roy said.
The small university wants to remain that way, with fewer than 3,000 students. (Radio-Canada)

One week after President Donald Trump was elected president on Nov. 8, 2016, McGill University in Montreal saw a 30 per cent increase in applications from the U.S. and a 16 per cent increase from other countries.

According to Bishop's University President Michael Goldbloom, more and more Americans are enrolling at the university. 

"Certainly, some are facing a difficult situation," Goldbloom said. "So they are interested in seeing something else and understanding a country that has different values from home."

The small university wants to remain that way, with fewer than 3,000 students.

'We don't want to double the number of students," Goldbloom said. "What makes Bishop's unique is that we're a small size. We want to keep that."

With files from Radio-Canada and the Associated Press