Langara student calls early registration for international students unfair
A Langara College student is unhappy that international students at the public postsecondary institution get a head start signing up for courses each semester.
Blair Fitzpatrick, a mature arts and sciences transfer student at the college in Vancouver, called the early-registration policy unfair.
Under the policy, all international students can start registering for courses several days before other students who are not enrolled in structured degree or career programs.
For the upcoming fall semester, international students start registration on June 20 while domestic students such as Fitzpatrick must wait until June 25.
“I don’t know if they just started doing this or if this is the way they’ve always been doing things, but it just struck me as really unfair that international students were given a head start on registering for classes,” Fitzpatrick told the Straight by phone.
“To me it just seems like the only right thing to do is allow every student who’s registered for a semester to at the same time start registering for their classes.”
A Langara College official defended the policy, saying the college has always allowed different categories of students to register at different times.
However, the policy has been updated to allow to all international students, not just new ones, to have an earlier registration date, said Ian Humphreys, associate vice-president of student development and marketing.
“The reason for that is international students represent only a small percentage of our total student population and we were finding that those small number of students were being overwhelmed by the very much larger number of domestic students and were finding it almost impossible to get courses. So we gave them an early opportunity to register in advance of domestic students,” he told the Straight by phone.
Humphreys argued domestic students at Langara benefit from higher international-student enrollment. He said the fee revenue allows more overall student spaces to be offered in courses.
Humphreys also said the college has no record of any official complaints about the registration policy for international students.