Statement on today’s demonstration calling for a freeze on tuition for international students

Other Release Date: February 2, 2022 2:00 p.m.

The University of Regina is aware of a planned rally, organized by the University of Regina Students’ Union, seeking a freeze in tuition increases for international students. 

The University of Regina first and foremost recognizes it is strengthened by diverse world views and experiences and is committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment where international students can learn, study and achieve their educational goals.

We welcome feedback from students on their educational experience and any concerns they have. We appreciate and support their engagement, especially when motivated by the desire to make education more accessible. While we may not be financially able to respond in a way that addresses their specific concerns in this case, we recognize they are expressing the experiences of many international students and we will do our best to mitigate, given our financial capacity.

International student tuition levels are tied to domestic student tuition levels and change proportionately based on a formula. When determining international student tuition levels, the post-secondary sector in Canada has always recognized that domestic students and their parents/caregivers also support our institutions through their taxes.

The University is currently in the process of developing the 2022-23 budget, including any potential increases in tuition and fees, for the Board of Governors consideration in early May. The University’s latest budget projections indicate there is a $16 million shortfall for the 2021-22 fiscal year and provincial funding for next year is frozen at current levels, which means the University is looking at all avenues of generating revenue and reducing costs, without unnecessarily impacting the student experience, to develop a balanced budget for 2022-23.

The University of Regina has a long-established record of sound fiscal management. However, the global, COVID-19 pandemic has created significant financial pressures that include lost revenue from residence, services, and international student enrolment among other things. We anticipate this to be a temporary shortfall with student enrolment and revenues expected to return to pre-pandemic levels either next year, or the one after that.

 

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