Canada has emerged as one of the most popular countries for studying abroad due to its quality of education, warm and friendly people, etc. But is it affordable? It sure does seem affordable when compared to some countries like Australia and the USA, but the tuition fees for international students are still high.
You might know that international students’ tuition is three times more than that of domestic students. According to Statistics Canada, there was a 7.1% increase in the tuition fees of international students in the 2020/21 academic year, so the average international undergraduate tuition fee is now around $33,623.
Now, there might be some reasons why this spike in tuition fees for international students has happened, right? What do you think? How will the rising tuition fees affect the international student community? In this article, we will delve into all this and look at why colleges should lower tuition fees.
Why are Things the Way They are?
The tuition fees of international students are already high, and the colleges keep on raising them. While the province of Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t see any rise in international students’ tuition fees, the other nine provinces saw an increase in the amount of tuition fees that colleges charge the students.
But why is it so? Here are some reasons why the colleges in Canada charge a high amount of fees from international students.
Decline in Domestic Enrolment
Colleges depend on tuition fees to generate revenue. According to colleges Ontario president and CEO Linda Franklin, domestic student enrolment has declined over the past few years. As the enrolment of domestic students has declined, colleges have to depend on the fees paid by international students. The loss of enrolment causes a lot of financial loss to colleges and puts immense pressure on them. Therefore, one way of making up for that loss is by raising the tuition fees. Unfortunately, international students have to carry this burden and pay more fees.
Low Provincial Funding
As per Statistics Canada, the government funding of colleges in Canada has been declining. A huge chunk of colleges’ revenue comes from government funding. When this funding declines, the colleges raise tuition fees to make up for the loss of funding. Again, international students are the worst sufferers as they have to pay three times more than domestic students. As the provincial funding received by the colleges in Canada has decreased, the colleges are becoming heavily dependent on international students. In Toronto, Centennial college
Canada is preferred for higher studies by a growing number of international students. When there is a demand for something, its price increases. Just like that, as the number of international students coming to Canada for higher education is growing, the tuition fees also rise. Along with the increased number of international students in Canada, there is little to no restriction on post-secondary institutions’ ability to raise international students’ tuition fees.
Why Should Colleges Lower Tuition Fees?
International students arrive in Canada with the hopes of getting a better future. They think that no matter how much money they spend on their tuition fees, they will eventually land a well-paying job and get permanent residency. And it seems like the colleges in Canada are taking advantage of them by taking an exorbitant amount of fees from them to make up for the lack of funding from the government.
Less Working Hours
International students are allowed to do part-time jobs to cover their expenses. But they are allowed to work only 20 hours per week. While this helps them to focus on their studies as well as have a social life. But 20 hours is not enough working time to be able to earn money to cover the high tuition costs. Moreover, many employers take advantage of them and don’t pay them even the minimum wage. This puts international students in highly stressful situations.
If the tuition fees are reduced and education is made more accessible, it will produce a more skilled workforce, which will benefit the economy of Canada. International students come to Canada with the hopes of landing a job and settling here. So they will eventually add to the skilled workforce that Canada needs for continued economic development of Canada. Moreover, their contribution to the taxes will also be beneficial for the socio-economic development of the country.
Why are the tuition fees of international students in Canada so high?
International students have to pay three times more tuition fees than domestic students in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, there was a 7.1% increase in the tuition fees of international students in the 2020/21 academic year. So, there has been a steep increase in tuition fees for international students. A number of factors might be responsible for the increase in the tuition fees of international students. Colleges rely on tuition fees for their revenue. But the recent few years have seen a decline in the enrolment of domestic students. The loss of students means a loss of revenue. While there has been a decline in the enrolment rate of domestic students, international students are showing more interest in studying in Canadian colleges. So, colleges are charging hefty fees from international students to make up for the loss caused by the loss of domestic students. Moreover, government funding, a major source of income for colleges in Canada, has gone down. Furthermore, more international students are coming to study in Canada; hence, the fees are raised to meet the demand.
Is Canada expensive for international students?
Yes, while Canada is more affordable than most countries, it is still expensive. International students have to pay three times more tuition fees than domestic students. Though international students are allowed to work, they are allowed to work only 20 hours per week. And many employers take advantage of them and pay them below minimum wage. The average cost of living in Canada, excluding rent, is around 600 CAD to 800 CAD. So, living in Canada is expensive for international students.