Letters to the Editors

International student on internationalization

Re: “The price of internationalization,” (Jan. 14, 2011)

Dear Editors,

Prospective university students choose their future school on a variety of factors, above all on the value of their education for their dollar.

In spite of high tuition fees for international students at universities like Harvard or Oxford, international students flock to these schools, because of the high quality of their degrees. Unfortunately, Queen’s is, at best, of mediocre quality and falling fast.

Due to the government’s rules for setting domestic tuition fees—which ban individual universities from setting their own fee schedules—universities across the province have financial difficulties and are no longer able to pay for as many programs or recruit star faculty members.

Queen’s, in particular, has chosen to address their Queen’s Park-caused financial difficulties by admitting more students, increasing class sizes and consequently reducing their per-student cost.

What many people don’t realize is that there is a finite pool of applicants and of those applicants, only a limited number are qualified. By increasing the number of students at university, one is invariably increasing acceptance rates and, thus, increasing the number of marginally qualified applicants accepted.

Accepting more marginally qualified applicants means the average quality of a university student is lowered. Because Anglophone Canadian society is unwilling to fail unqualified or unintelligent students, the value of a university degree accordingly falls.

This is what has happened at Queen’s University. Since coming here, I’ve seen Queen’s fall universally throughout the league tables.

On Maclean’s tables, Queen’s has fallen from first to fourth. Our university is no longer even on the Times Education Supplement’s top 200, a popular education for internationally-minded prospective students.

As an international student, I can say with confidence that we are only willing to pay what our degree is worth. So long as the quality of education becomes worse, and the fees become higher, we will be less and less willing to attend this university.

Dan Osborne, ArtSci ‘12
President, Queen’s Campus Libertarian Association

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