International students make up a majority of U of T’s tuition revenue stream and a sizeable portion of the undergraduate population, but it is not entirely clear how they will be affected by the provincial government’s recently announced changes to postsecondary funding. Here, The Varsity rounds up reporting from the past month about how international students could be affected by these cuts.
U of T stands to lose $88 million from its projected budget in the first year following the 10 per cent tuition cut mandated by the provincial government, and will either have to cut its budget or increase revenue accordingly.
By The Varsity’s estimates, international students contribute close to $1 billion in tuition fees to U of T. Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost of U of T, told The Varsity that the university will not be increasing international tuition for the upcoming academic year more than already planned to make up for the loss in domestic tuition revenue, and that international intake will depend on decisions made by individual programs.
According to Regehr, international tuition will continue to follow the published schedule. The average weighted international tuition fee increase in 2018–2019 was six per cent, with the base Arts & Science international student tuition at UTSG coming in at $49,800 in 2017–2018.
At a UTM Campus Council meeting on January 30, UTM Principal Ulrich Krull suggested over-enrolling international students to compensate for the domestic tuition cut.
Krull elaborated in a statement to The Varsity that, though UTM took in an unexpected number of international students in the fall, the campus still has room to increase its international population. Where UTM had intended to have about 25 per cent international enrolment — which is currently at about 24 per cent — over-enrolling students would be “a change in timing and not a change in the substance of our longer-term academic plan,” said Krull.
The Varsity estimates that UTM’s regulated fee programs will lose $10 million in domestic tuition revenue due to the provincial mandate. Currently, UTM receives around $100 million in domestic tuition revenue per year.
Krull further added that he hopes to have a plan to deal with the impact of the tuition cuts by the end of March.
“This is a complex problem involving many participants, where impacts are quite different on a unit depending on the action taken. It will be weeks before an integrated set of actions is developed, and this will then be tuned in further iterations with unit leaders to achieve some good level of consensus before calling this a plan.”