Emily Carr Students’ Union described the move as a “cash grab” and said the increase would result in international students paying an additional CAN$5,491 each.
The art and design university has since confirmed that the rise will go ahead, alongside a 2% increase for domestic students and a 10% increase for returning international undergraduate students. Tuition fees will remain the same for domestic graduate students and returning international graduate students.
“We are calling on the BC government to intervene immediately,” said Kashish Hukku Jani, a student at the university and spokesperson for the SU. “We need to stop financing university deficits from our most marginalised members. Enough is enough.”
The walk-out was the latest in a series of student protests at ECU, including a letter-writing campaign and sit-in.
“International students already pay more than four times more than domestic students”
“International students already pay more than four times more than domestic students and like many other British Columbians, have been struggling during the pandemic and in the face of skyrocketing costs of living in Metro Vancouver,” the student body said in a statement.
ECU said it recognised that the increase would be “challenging for some students”.
“However, current international tuition rates do not cover the cost of an education at ECU,” a University spokesperson told The PIE. “This increase is required for the university to continue providing a quality education for students today and into the future. Financial support such as grants and bursaries will continue to be available for students in need.
“Despite being Canada’s top-ranked university for art and design, Emily Carr charges the least. ECU’s international tuition rates are currently 43% less than OCADU—our top competitor—and even with this increase, ECU’s tuition fees will remain lower.”