Tuition fees for international students at UofT continue to increase this year, unimpeded, following a provincial trend that has been developing in years past.

In December of 2016, it was announced that the 3% tuition increase cap expiring in 2017 for Ontario universities and colleges would continue for the next two years. This cap does not apply to the fees for international students.

Tuition caps are implemented on a provincial level. For international students, the fees are unregulated. This leaves fee adjustments to the discretion of the university. The UofT budget plan for 2017-2018 released in March calls for a 9% increase in international tuition fees.

A topic affecting everyone in the UofT community, better regulation of tuition fees is an issue that many student organizations lobby for. The UTSU assembled a tuition brief and policy proposal earlier this year, among other concerns outlined in their planned approach for the lack of regulation for international tuition.

While supporting the maintenance of tuition caps currently in place, the UTSU is lobbying for the introduction of international tuition regulation. As they point out this is not a revolutionary proposal; regulation of international tuition fees is already in place in Newfoundland, where the provincial government has implemented a tuition freeze for all students.

The Canadian Federation of Students (CFA) also runs a Fight the Fees! Campaign, in which they lobby for the reduction and eventual elimination of student fees. As an organization, the CFA believes in universal post-secondary education, fighting for better policy surrounding domestic and international tuition.

“The province should not allow Ontario schools to continue profiting on their popularity with international students, as it gives Ontario a bad reputation, and discourages international collaboration in post-secondary institutions,” says the 2017 UTSU Tuition Brief. This lack of regulation can make it difficult for some international students to continue with their degree, lacking the money to do so.

To learn more or to get involved, contact the Fight the Fees! Campaign at fightthefees@cfsontario.ca, or the UTSU through Vice-President External or President at vpexternal@utsu.ca and president@utsu.ca, respectively.