Oct 12, 2021
For Immediate Release
Exceptional Tuition Increase (ETI) impact on international students -
false assurances and lack of consultation by UofA administration
Edmonton—The University of Alberta International Students’ Association (UAISA, hereby ISA) is outraged to hear that the Exceptional Tuition Increase (ETI) would impact prospective international students' tuition as well starting in the year 2023.
When the ETI was revealed for the first time, the ISA and Students’ Union (SU) reached out to the University Administration to confirm that these exceptional tuition increases would not impact the international students. We were informed that the exceptional tuition increases would only impact domestic students and not international students. Thus, during the whole consultation process the international students representative i.e the ISA was not consulted on this matter as it supposedly did not impact our membership.
Recently, in the Board Finance and Property Committee meeting (Oct 7, 2021), the University Provost admitted that these increases could impact international students as the overall program cost is being increased due to the ETI. This is fundamentally against the assurances that we were provided last year. In the same meeting, the Provost assured that international students would be consulted next year when a decision on their tuition is being made. However, the ISA is concerned that by then it would be baseless to consult us as the program cost would have already increased due to the ETI and international students would be expected to cover the full costs of their studies.
The University of Alberta Administration has systematically excluded international students from its consultation, and made false assurances to international student leaders to silence them last year. Now, when the proposal is at its final stage, just one week before the Board of Governors approval, the Administration has changed its stance on the impact of the ETI on international students. International students have been treated unfairly by excluding them from consultation on an issue that largely impacts the incoming international students. The international tuition is not governed by the same provincial regulations as domestic students; and thus, the University has complete control over international fees-increase. They have clearly sidelined us.
The University of Alberta International Students’ Association (UAISA) firmly calls upon the University Administration to either delay the ETI approval and conduct meaningful consultation with the international students or make a commitment that exceptional tuition increases would not impact future international students’ tuition.
We do not see any value in consultation with us next year, as decisions on the program costs are being made this year and the University has acknowledged that this would impact international tuition. We as students should not be teaching a globally recognized post-secondary education institution, the role of meaningful consultation, and reminding it about it’s own commitment to EDI. The dubious actions of the University of Alberta, sidelining international students on matters that impact them, only in turn negatively affect the Province’s goal towards internationalization under Alberta 2030. The Minister of Advanced Education had directed the University to properly consult with students, and the University of Alberta has failed to do so. If the current international students are being sidelined with false assurances and not consulted on issues that impact international students, then we do not see any value for more international students to attend the University of Alberta in the future.
The international student leaders have shared their views on this matter which are attached below.
International Student Leaders Statements
“As a representative of the Indian students association, I feel very concerned for the financial circumstances that incoming students at the University of Alberta face. This affects the plans and aspirations of potential students at the University. I support the ISA’s decisions for the reconsideration/amendment of the Exceptional Tuition Increase impacting the university coming 2023 and look forward to respectable discussions.”
-Tanushi Khanna, President of the Indian Students’ Association
"One of the reasons of Indonesian students entering the University of Alberta is because of the affordability to pursue internationally-acclaimed education program. Therefore, if the tuition of international students keep increasing, less Indonesian students will come to the University of Alberta."
-Kevin Wilianto, President of the Indonesian Students’ Association (UofA)
"The Chinese Students and Scholars at the University of Alberta is committed to ensuring that Chinese students enjoy a better learning experience and affordability to pursue their education program.
Through this statement, we are extremely sad and disappointed to see increasing tuition for international students. We sincerely hope that the University Administration will reconsider its decision about the Exceptional Tuition Increase impacting the upcoming international students for 2023 and can make arrangements regarding this issue to ease our struggles to support international students."
-Meiyi Zhou, President of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association
“Through this statement, the Philippine Students’ Association (PhilSA) would like to show their
support for the International Students’ Association as they address the exceptional tuition
increase from the University.
The University must be held accountable to their promises, and if they choose to go against it,
they must be prepared to do meaningful consultation to ensure that international students get
access to high quality education. Equity, diversity and inclusion is said to be at the forefront of
every process that the University undertakes, and this should be reflected in exceptional tuition
increases. International students deserve to be included in this process, but most of all, they
deserve to be included in our campus community.”
Maissie Hillman, President, Philippine Students’ Association
Nicole De Grano, Vice President, Philippine Students’ Association
"The University of Alberta Ukrainian Students' Society stands behind the International Students' Association's statement on Exceptional Tuition Increase (ETI) impact on international students. It is deeply upsetting to see the false assurances made and lack of consultation by the UAlberta administration. We sincerely hope and request that the University Administration either delays the ETI approval and conducts meaningful consultation with the international students, or makes a commitment that exceptional tuition increases would not impact future international students’ tuition."
-Natalie Hanas, President of the Ukrainian Students' Society
"As a fellow international student, I am disappointed to hear that the University is not keeping their promise not to impact the upcoming international student tuition fees for 2023 with the Exceptional Tuition Increase (ETI). Honouring a promise shows how someone is valued. However, I feel that the University has chosen to put other interests above their commitment to us. International students’ contribution to the growth and diversity of this institution is not trivial and should be acknowledged. It is in bad faith not to consult with all of the involved parties on such an impactful decision as this.”
Benika Jane Valerie, President of International Friendship Group
The University of Alberta Nigerian Students’ Association stands behind the International Students’ Association in this statement. We are committed to ensuring that both present and future Nigerian students have a seamless and fulfilling university experience. We implore the University of Alberta Administration to honor their promise that International Students would not be impacted by the Exceptional Tuition Increase (ETI) and to consult International students regarding this matter
-Sinmiloluwa Ogunniran, Vice-President of the Nigerian Students’ Association
For PDF Version: Statement PDF