International students at U of G upset over increase in tuition fees
KITCHENER -- The University of Guelph has raised its tuition fees for international students and many of them are speaking out in hopes the school will reevaluate its decision.
The increase, which started in the Spring semester, pushed fees up anywhere from three to 15 per cent, depending on the program.
Jaskiran Sethi moved from India to Canada three years ago when she started attending the University of Guelph.
Every year she paid around $22,000 to the school.
Sethi says that this past Spring her tuition increased by 10 per cent.
“It was actually shocking,” she says.
Sethi worries she won’t be able to meet her financial responsibilities, especially since she coudn't go home this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She says she wasn’t able to fly home so she had to pay extra rent.
“There’s lots of bills to pay, like phone bills, there’s groceries and there’s rent. I’m budgeting and everything but a major proportion that I got from CERB went to paying for summer tuition and I had basically a zero balance in my account.”
In a statement to CTV News, the University of Guelph says, in part: “In terms of our international tuition rates, U of G’s remain among the most affordable in Ontario. We are far below the sector average; even with the increase our international tuition rates are 70 to 75 per cent of those of our peer institutions.”
But the university’s Central Student Association disagrees, saying the higher tuition fees for international students isn’t fair.
“A lot of them are reconsidering coming to Guelph in the fall,” says Horeen Hasan. “Many of them are also nervous to even tell their parents who are back home that fees have actually increased because their families back home are also struggling.”
Students are now asking the university to take extra steps to help with the financial stress.
“To provide more grants, scholarships, and financial aid to international students,” says Hasan, “To actually put a freeze on tuition fees for international students.”
Sethi says she’s disappointed with the response from the University of Guelph.