Freeze warms students to Queen’s

International tuition up for debate

Society of Graduate and Professional Students Vice-President (Finance and Services) Amir Nosrat says he thinks the proposal follows a trend in Canadian universities to create barriers.
Society of Graduate and Professional Students Vice-President (Finance and Services) Amir Nosrat says he thinks the proposal follows a trend in Canadian universities to create barriers.
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A tuition freeze for international students is up for debate at this Friday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

University Registrar Jo-Anne Brady said the proposal, supported by the Vice-Principal (Academic)’s office, could be approved at the board’s Dec. 4 meeting.

Brady said the freeze would apply to all international masters and doctoral students’ tuition fees for 2010-11, adding that the fees are $12,364 for one year in each program. International undergraduate students’ tuition would be excluded from the freeze.

The exceptions are the School of Policy Studies, School of Urban Planning, School of Business and School of Rehabilitation, which face tuition increases.

“I think this is intended for the encouragement of international students at Queen’s and to prevent any barriers,” Brady said. “That’s the rationale.” Janice Deakin, School of Graduate Studies associate vice-principal and dean, said despite the lack of increase in tuition fees for international Masters and Doctoral students, she thinks there are other factors that influence students’ university decisions.

“I think there are a number of considerations for international graduate students when they think about attending a university outside of their home country of which tuition is only one,” Deakin told the Journal via e-mail.

International students in undergraduate programs entering Queen’s in 2010 will have a 10 per cent fee increase in their first and five per cent increase in subsequent years.

Deakin said a number of factors are considered in determining fees for graduate programs, including comparison of fees at other universities for similar programs and the demand for graduate programs.

The School of Medicine program received the highest increase in tuition fees, as international students will face a 30 per cent increase for all four years, that means an increase from $50,000 to $65,000.

Amir Nosrat, Society of Graduate and Professional Students Vice-President (Finance and Services) and international master’s student, said he thinks the proposal follows a trend in Canadian universities to create more barriers for international students to study here.

“Quite honestly they get taken advantage of, they’re never in a position of being consulted; there’s really no strong student society to represent,” Nosrat said.

He said he thinks the challenges of adapting to a new country make it difficult for international students to defend their rights.

“Cultural barriers, language barriers and they are very timid—all contribute to them being taken advantage of,” he said. “It’s a very overwhelming experience coming into a country.”

Nosrat said he thinks international students are attracted to Canadian universities because of their relatively low tuition costs in comparison to American schools but aren’t given adequate financial support when they get here.

“I experienced this myself. … Once you start coming here, you realize how limited funding is and how limited your availability to get it.”

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