As approved by the university’s Board of Governors, both domestic and international students at Dalhousie can expect a 3% tuition-fee increase for the 2019-20 term, while new international students for the fall term will see an additional increase averaging about 8%.
“International students are vitally important…so is the long-term success of our university”
The Board confirmed that current international students will be exempt from the additional increases for the duration of their studies.
In response to the increasing tuition fees for international students, Dalhousie International Students’ Association hosted a rally outside the university’s Halifax campus and delivered a petition they claim was signed by more than 1,000 students.
According to a report in The Star, protesters carried signs with slogans that included “Fight The Fees’, and ‘No Intl Hike’, with others taking to social media to voice their concerns.
In a statement, Dalhousie University Board chair Lawrence Stordy said the Board understood the concerns raised about the fee changes and the international student experience at Dalhousie, but that a “balance” needed to be found.
“International students are vitally important to us; so is the long-term sustainability and success of our university,” said Stord.
“This is about finding the right balance and providing resources to strengthen all aspects of our mission — including the experience of our international students.”
Stordy also noted that the decision is the result of months of review and consultation, both through the university’s Budget Advisory Committee and the Board’s Finance, Audit, Investment and Risk Committee.
He said that students had been consulted and engaged in every stage of the process.
A statement from the university confirmed it would be reaching out to incoming international students for 2019-20 to inform them of the fee changes and will be allocating additional student assistance funds for those students who may experience financial hardship as a result of these changes.
Provost Teri Balser emphasised the university’s commitment to supporting international students on campus more broadly.
“We recognise we need to do more to help ensure international students have what they need to succeed, and that’s why we are moving quickly to improve our support,” she said.