Nfld. & Labrador

Trump's travel ban boosts international student enrolment at Memorial University

International student applications for this semester at MUN have jumped by nearly 500 students over 2016.

Graduate applications from the six countries affected has increased by 46 per cent

Memorial University students started their fall semester Sept. 6. (CBC)

Memorial University is benefiting from U.S. President Donald Trump's restrictions on immigration for a select group of Muslim-majority countries.

When Trump announced the travel ban earlier this year, Memorial advertised that its doors were open to students from the affected countries, as well as every other country on the planet.

Graduate applications from the six countries affected by Trump's travel ban increased by 46 per cent, while admissions from those countries increased by 25 per cent.

International students bring so much to this university, and to this province.- Shona Perry-Maidment

According to Shona Perry-Maidment, Memorial University's deputy registrar of strategic enrolment management, international student applications for this semester jumped by nearly 500 students over last year.

"We've actually been seeing a number of increases right across the board," Perry-Maidment said.

"Not only the countries impacted by Mr. Trump's announcement, but also right across the whole of the markets we've been recruiting in for some time."

Diversity helps students thrive

Memorial University has three recruitment teams — one on the St. John's campus, one at the Marine Institute, and another on the Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.

"We've been doing a lot of outreach for a number of years. We've been quite successful, and of late we've seen numbers skyrocket," said Perry-Maidment.

Masleen Kwindima came to Memorial University from her home in Zimbabwe, based on the reputation of the school and Newfoundland and Labrador. (Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Memorial actively recruits students from countries as far-flung as Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, India, China and Tanzania, primarily at the undergraduate level.

"International students bring so much to this university, and to this province," said Perry-Maidment.

"I think the more diverse we become the safer we are, because we begin to learn and understand each other's cultures, our backgrounds, our ideologies, and I think we are in a much better place because we are such a well-rounded student body," she said.

"As a province, I think that's really helpful and healthy."