Owing to the increase in international students, the government of Canada announced that it might increase international student tuitions fees, but not all governors agree with the hike. However, the Board of Governors has gone ahead with the increase of 3.14 percent in international student tuition fees for the upcoming year – 2018 – 19. Six governors are against the hike, which includes Mike Sandare (undergraduate Board of Governor’s representative), Marina Banister (Students’ Union president), and Babak Soltannia (Graduate Students’ Association president).
Since 11 governors voted for the change, the hike was approved. The hike proposal was first time presented at the Board and Finance Committee meeting that was actually conducted to talk about domestic tuition freezes, a conservative amount of investment income, and lack of backfill funding. Soltannia and Banister heavily criticized the increased hike, which is actually based on an academic price index. Solitanna argued that the hike should have only been of 1.7 percent as per the consumer price index. For undergraduate arts and science students, the hike is of $658.80, while for business students it is $866.80, and engineering students will have to pay $790.56 more this academic year.
Provost Steven Dew and Gitta Kulczycki, vice president of Finance and Administration said that Canada has some of the lowest international student fees. Dew agrees that increasing student fees will put them in a tight spot financially, but then there are bursaries and scholarship that can take away the monetary stress.
Lisa Colins, University Registrar, said that in 2017, $4.8 million worth of financial support was provided to international students by the government and 80 percent of them were merit-based scholarships. This academic year it won’t be any different.
There are dual conflicts on the board because the increase wasn’t analyzed in a better way because the consumer price index wasn’t even considered.