Barack Obama effect sees demand for American studies courses in Britain soar

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Barack Obama's election as president produced a surge in the number of students applying for degree courses in American studies, an academic has said.

George Lewis, director of the Centre for American Studies and a reader in American History at the University of Leicester, said there had been an "Obama bounce" in applications for the subject in Britain this year.

A 22 per cent rise in the number of applicants nationally and a 60 per cent increase at Leicester came after a depression in applications throughout George Bush's time in the Oval Office, he said.

He said: "I think the idea of spending a year in Obama's America is probably more appealing to many students than doing so under the Bush regime.

"He is perhaps the first intellectual American president we have had since Woodrow Wilson.

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