Capilano union says tuition hike will cause "financial hardship" for international students

Student union leaders at Capilano University in North Vancouver are decrying a planned 12-percent hike to international-student tuition fees.

The postsecondary institution’s board of governors approved on November 16 the increase to $475 per credit from $425. The change goes into effect in fall 2011.

“In general, 12 percent is not a sustainable fee increase for students from year to year,” said David Clarkson, a student representative on the university’s board who voted against the change. “It’s well above inflation.”

“It’s going to require a full-time international student to pay $1,500 more each year, which is going to be a serious financial hardship for those students,” Clarkson told the Straight today (November 19) by phone.

“From one year to the next, that’s quite a large fee increase.”

Cindy Turner, Capilano University’s vice-president of finances and administration, said the fee increase reflects the institution’s rising costs.

Turner said the university cannot access provincial grant funding to subsidize international student fees as it does for domestic student costs. She also said Capilano University’s international student fees are low compared with other postsecondary institutions in B.C.

But she acknowledged the 12-percent increase “is about as high as anyone could stomach at one time”.

“We’re just trying to cover our costs, because we’re mandated to try and cover our full costs,” Turner told the Straight by phone.

International student liaison Gary Guo told the Straight the higher fees will make life tougher for students from other countries. He described the $50-per-credit increase as not sustainable.

Clarkson said he still questions why an increase as high as 12 percent was necessary.

The Capilano Students’ Union was expected to meet this afternoon to consider how to respond to the fee hike.

Capilano University has around 5,500 full-time equivalent students, Turner said. Roughly 600 of those are international students.




Nov 19, 2010 at 6:58pm

So, what do the opponents of this international student tuition hike offer as an alternative...raising resident student tuition? Cutting programs? I don't want my tax dollars funding the education of foreigners, that's for sure!

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Nov 19, 2010 at 8:48pm

Who Cares. In fact im glad. Its there are millions of people who want to live in Canada because we have worked hard to make it a good place to live. At the very least we should single out people who cant contribute. Personally I think people should not be able to immigrate here unless they have a min of $100,000 on cash in their bank.

Just look south for the problem of letting anyone in. Sorry, calling it like it is. F you to all you "everyone deserves everything" groups :)

In my world you work hard for what you want. Yes you contribute, but no there no there is no room for "contribute nothing bitch for everything" people. We are all stocked up with those social parasites :)!

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Nov 20, 2010 at 2:31am

It still seems unnecessary that this tuition increase occur at one time. Clearly the university has made an oversight or something, and suddenly realized they have been breaking rules, and are now forced to make a sudden hike in fees.

As for providing international students with an education, Canadian universities are actively recruiting students internationally to bring to their institutions. Is this done out of a desire to provide education, or to increase revenues?

And please, listen to yourselves. Don't subject others to your messages of hatred and xenophobia. Every human has something to offer to the world, and if you discriminate based on manmade borders, you are in trouble. Look at the world's issues, or even some of those within Canada. Do you think we can solve those on our own? It is only through partnership that anything will be accomplished.

And don't think for a second that this will stop with international students. Domestic students' tuition will be next - and with BC students already facing the highest student debt in the country, where will it end? The demand for education is high, and as a result the cost of learning will continue to unethically increase.

I'm so glad we're looking to the future on such a consistent basis. It's really a great thing.

Students should be students regardless of nationality. The bottom line is, everyone deserves an education.

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Archie Bunker

Nov 20, 2010 at 10:48am

Canadians deserve priority. If the internationals don't like it....too bad.

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financial hardship

Nov 20, 2010 at 1:25pm

BC is in the business of educating foreignors and not its own as education is a business and although your tax dollars may have helped the education facilities all come about it is where it ends.
UBC is mostly foreignors as education British Columbinas isn't what the universities are all about.

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Gary Guo

Nov 20, 2010 at 2:00pm

I understand that international students do not pay income taxes in Canada, so international students should not get funding from the Canadian taxpayer. That's fair and understandable.

But my concern as International Students Liaison at Capilano University is the increase rate should be reasonable and transparent. School should provide more documentation and proper reasons for the 12% tuition increase. Currently, domestic students pay $111.18/credit and international students pay $425.00/credit. Here is already a huge difference.

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ex-Cap Student

Nov 22, 2010 at 10:03am

Its easy to overlook the net-benefit of having international students study at Canadian colleges and universities.

1) Many of them stay on to become Citizens
It is no secret that the Canadian economy will not be able to sustain itself without the addition of immigrants. Would you rather have unqualified immigrants come in and be a drain on the services or would you have Canadian-educated qualified immigrants ready for the job-market?

2) Boost to local economy
Many of the businesses, basement-renters etc. depend on foreign students to use services that would not have been used by Canadians. This brings in valuable money into the local economy and thanks to trickle effects - the larger economy. Never underestimate the effect of that.

3) Diversity
The last thing Canadian schools need is more narrow-minded inward thinking. In the next couple of decades Canada will lose its place as a Top-10 economy and it will be too late then to try and understand South American, African and Asian cultures. Cultures that you will need to know to survive - just like these cultures made it a point to understand Western values, societies and languages over the last 100 years or so. Without that - you can write off the Canadian economy. There is no better way to learn that than through the presence of foreign students in our educational institutions.

4) Subsidizes local students
While this will never be officially acknowledged - colleges and universities are increasingly using revenue from international students to run services that local students benefit from. So..if you think its the Candian taxpayers that are subsidizing international students - think again.

5) International Competition
US and Australian higher educational institutions saw decreased international enrollment thanks to ridiculous visa rules and xenophebia respectively. While European schools are exploiting this situation to their benefit, Capilano seems to use this opportunity to shoot itself in the foot. This is the time to reach out to such students - and instead we throw a 12% hike on them - someone at Cap needs to read Marketing 101, without letting the finance department dictate terms through its narrow vision of balancing the books.

6) Inadequate representation
Cap would rather increase International student fees as there is almost no chance of International students protesting. They hardly have any voice in the University and most of them, being new to the country, are unaware of how the policy-making machinery here works. So rather than man up and try and increase fees across the board, this seems to be an easy, albeit cowardly, way of acheiving the same goal.

7) Lack of options for exiting Int'l Students
If in response to a fee hike, a Canadian student can decide to quit University or take lesser courses, International students do not have that option - they need to maintain status and the funds they have already invested in getting here and settling down is far too high to be able to make changes. While this fee hike is bad enough for new Int'l students, its almost cruel to existing ones.

I hope the University takes off its blinders and starts seeing the larger picture. Also, about time the Students Union put its foot down on this one - they should not forget that a large part of the CSU's funding comes from International Students - what have they done for them in return? No taxation without representation!

Finally - where is that excuse of a Students Federation called CFS? Still busy with infighting and lining its officers pockets? How about you get active on fighting on behalf of one of the weakest sections of student population?

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