University of Manitoba
Course Instructor: Dr. L. Karen Soiferman
Teaching Assistant: Raina Loxley
Nov 28, 2014
Word Count: 1559
Essay Number: rewrite 1
During the past decade, people in less developed countries, limited access to education in their own countries led to a significant rise in the number of international students studying overseas. Canada is often the preferred choice for international students attending college or university base on their demand for higher education and expectations of its ability to raise the economic and social status of the graduate. But the reality goes opposite way, tuition fees have being extremely increased since 1970s (Canadian Federal of Student, 2012). There should be a more appropriate tuition fee policy for international students because it is unfair burdens, a barrier to post-secondary education and possibly turn out to hurt Canada itself.
For almost each and every international student, studying abroad in a country such as Canada is a unique opportunity to grow academically and personally which is unfortunately not available in their home countries. Studying abroad means they have to manage their own finance, regardless of whether their study is funded by a scholarship or by any source of income. In order to be able to fit in the new environment, they have overcome many obstacles, such as language, lifestyle, living and travel expenses, and huge difference in currency and exchange rates. Canada’s currency rate is 1.12 in November, 2014 and 10.93 to 61.76 of second world countries and about 131.00 to 1111.05 of third world countries (Foreign Exchange Rates, 2014). Given these data, the Canadian dollar is higher more than ten times compare to second and third world countries dollar. Imagine once international currencies are converted to Canadian dollars, the cost of one’s post-secondary school could be as much as a family fortune.
Despite the fact that Canada is one of the top ten countries that has highest GDP in the world (The World Bank, 2013), a majority of Canadian students are still being borne under the weight of the debt they are accumulating to pay for their university. The student-borrowing rate among graduates is 57% in 2005 (Luong, 2010). It keeps increasing as education costs never slow down even when they still have to pay taxes to contribute to the government. According to Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, the tuition fee for international students in 2013 is almost triple that of domestic students. Thus, they are being suffered of the heavy financial burden a lot more than domestic students. While international students do pay into the tax system, with the same tax rate, it is irrational to make international students bear so much weight of tuition compare to domestic students.
On top of that, The United Nations and UNESCO lay down international legal obligations for the right to education: “These instruments promote and develop the right of every person to enjoy access to education of good quality, without discrimination or exclusion” (UNESCO, 2013). International students should then be given equal opportunities for access to education, by having to pay the same amount as domestic students. It arises that tuition fees should not be different.
The growth in international student numbers has been remarkable. Expensive tuition fees could become a barrier that tend to block the increase international student population adds to Canadian campuses. It has already put post-secondary education in Canada beyond the reach of many international students. Low and middle income students, particularly students from developing countries face tremendous obstacles in accessing post- secondary education. By fall 2012, average tuition fees for international undergraduate students were $18,641 (Canadian Federal of Student, 2012). In fact, most of the median household incomes per