Ontario Universities Grow Dependent On Foreign Student Fees

According to research by CBC News, Universities in Ontario are becoming increasingly dependent on fees from international students to cover the bottom line.

Provincial government has encouraged universities to ramp up international recruitment which has caused the number of foreign students attending Ontario universities to increase by 88.5 % over a six year span. In the past four years, revenue from international students’ tuition fees have more than doubled from $620 million to $1.28 billion.

Nour Alideeb, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario. "They're using international students as cash cows, unfortunately.”

During an interview with CBC News, Alideeb said universities "add international students to top up the amount of funding that they're actually missing."

Operating grants given by the province has effectively been frozen for the past ten years and now only make up 40% of operating revenue, causing universities to become more dependent on money from foreign students.

"Universities are relying more and more over time on tuition revenue versus government grants," said the Council of Ontario Universities.

"We have been putting effort into recruiting around the globe, as we do domestically, so I think we're seeing some of that paying off," said Richard Levin, U of T’s executive director of enrollment services.


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