University of Guelph students demand reversal of international tuition fee increases

Guelph, May 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- University of Guelph students are shocked at the increases to international student tuition that was approved by the Board of Governors on April 22, 2020. These increases range from 10 to 15 percent for international undergraduate students who already pay on average three times more than domestic students at UofG.  

“Many international students are heartbroken that an institution they love so much is putting such a financial burden on them,” said Horeen Hassan, VP External at the Central Student Association at UofG. “Many of these students have shared their personal stories with me and have indicated their thoughts on potentially dropping out or transferring to other institutions.”

Currently, many international students are struggling to pay for basic needs including rent and groceries, and some are unable to return home due to the current crisis. In addition to this, many international students who remain in Guelph are facing increased mental health struggles.  “The decision is often between supporting basic needs or paying tuition. We are often stressed, worried about our families, and wonder if we will even be able to enroll in the following semester. All of which makes international students often rely on resources such as the Food Bank to support our basic needs.” added Lisa Kazuhara, Co-President of the International Students Organization at the University of Guelph.

For many international students, their plans of employment have been halted as COVID-19 has brought the economy to a standstill. Furthermore, international students are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) yet are expected to pay increased tuition in the next few weeks.

“There is a false perception that all international students are wealthy, as a matter of fact the majority of them rely on more than one part-time job to support themselves financially” said Anna Canella Co-President of the International Students Organization at the University of Guelph.  “We are all experiencing the impact of COVID-19. The reality is that without a prospective job for the summer, the global economy compromised, us students and our families are more than ever struggling to finance our education. An increase in tuition makes international students face the hard decision to potentially not return in the Fall.”

CSA and ISO are calling on the University of Guelph to take the following actions to support international students during COVID-19 which include a reversal to the 2020/2021 international tuition fee increases immediately, implementing a tuition freeze for international students, and for the institution to provide more bursaries, grants and scholarships for international students. 


The Central Student Association is the undergraduate students’ union at the University of Guelph, representing over 22,000 students since 1973. 


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