International PhD students to pay the same tuition as domestic students

Decision to be implemented September 2021

The announcement was made in January.


Following community activism and consultations, Queen’s has lowered tuition fees for international PhD students.

The University announced Jan. 27 that international PhD students will pay the same tuition fees as domestic PhD students, starting in September 2021. The decision was made based on the recommendations posed in the Working Group on Graduate Student Success’ September 2019 report. 

“The new tuition assessment will help Queen’s recruit and retain exceptional PhD students from around the world and promote the success of our students,” the University wrote in a statement to The Journal. “International students bring diverse perspectives to our campus and play a vital role in the university's research and teaching mission.”

After the report was released, the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) formed another working group to specifically assess graduate student funding. This group formed the proposal regarding international PhD tuition. It was then approved by the University’s senior leadership and the Board of Trustees.

“With this new policy, Queen’s is moving in line with the support for international PhD students offered by its peer institutions in Canada, including research-intensive universities in Ontario,” the University wrote.

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The report found that, while most PhD students are well-funded by the University—on average, domestic and international students receive $32,624—some international students still struggle. 

According to the report, once tuition, housing, and health insurance are paid, international PhD students only have an average of $22 left per month for other expenses, like food, school supplies, and transportation.

“The report on graduate student success has provided us with excellent guidance on how we can strengthen graduate education at Queen’s,” Principal Patrick Deane said in a press release. “This decision on tuition exemplifies our commitment to enhancing our programs by supporting the many contributions international PhD students make to our research.”

The Working Group on Graduate Student Success was established in 2018. Chaired by Fahim Quadir, vice-provost and dean of SGS, it consulted with staff, students, and faculty to assess the state of graduate education at Queen’s.

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The final report made 35 final recommendations focused on student-supervisor relationships, professional and academic development, wellness and community, research excellence, communication, and financial support.

The SGS is also working to implement a new policy on graduate supervision from these recommendations.

“With this new tuition policy, we are setting up international PhD students for success and making Queen’s a more attractive choice for graduate education for the most promising emerging scholars from around the world,” Quadir said in the press release.

“This decision is a part of a broader set of efforts underway to enhance the overall graduate student experience at Queen’s.”

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