We’ve received some frequently asked questions and wanted to share them for everyone in case you have the same question too!
Even before arriving in Canada, international students are not given an accurate estimation of education and the cost-of-living in Canada. In order to study in Canada, international students must prove they can afford to study in Canada by paying for their first year of tuition, in addition to a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD $10 000. The amount of the GIC is outdated, and not representative of the cost-of-living and housing crisis in Ontario, and Canada generally.
Additionally, international tuition in Ontario is unpredictable and can be raised by 20% per year. When taken together, how can one budget for a cost-of-living that is not clearly communicated while also affording tuition that can be radically different from year-to-year?
This is not true! In places like Germany, France, Norway, and Iceland, international tuition is offered at a low or no cost.
We decided to launch a provincial campaign rather than a federal campaign, because post-secondary education falls under provincial jurisdiction. That said, we want to see international tuition equity for all provinces and territories in Canada, not just Ontario! If you want to advocate for international tuition equity in your province or territory, please reach out and we will be happy to provide insight and support where we can.
Over the past 40 years, provincial and federal funding for post-secondary education has declined. While the government does subsidize domestic students, Ontario lags behind the rest of the country in terms of post-secondary education funding, and offers the least amount of funding per Full-Time Student out of every province and territory. According to Ontario’s Auditor General, international students make up 30% of the student body at Ontario colleges, but they provide 68% of tuition revenue. Their fees in 2019 amounted to $1.7 billion, more than what Ontario contributes through provincial grants. To make up for the defunding of the post-secondary sector, colleges are charging international students over and above the equivalent domestic tuition value when combined with domestic subsidies. Many institutions also charge international students higher tuition over and above the combined value of domestic tuition and government subsidies combined.
No. We are calling for greater regulation of international tuition, for international tuition fee increases to be capped at generally 3% — the same rate as domestic students –, and to scale international tuition to the subsidized value of domestic tuition through a multi-year, phased-in approach. For more information about our solutions, please consult our solutions document.
According to Ontario’s Auditor General, relying on international tuition to maintain college operations is an unsustainable and risky business model. As a result of actively defunding the post-secondary sector, colleges have moved to a profit-centric funding model. International student tuition continues to make up the bulk of Ontario college revenue in the absence of increases to core funding. Therefore, the government should increase core funding to Ontario colleges to compensate for the 20% loss in funding per student in real dollars since 1992 and index core funding to inflation.
If you have withdrawn from your program, please reach out to your college to request a refund.