In every single province across Canada, it is a condoned practice to charge exorbitant differential tuition fees for international students.
The Fairness for International Students campaign was created to lobby and advocate against the extremely high, unregulated tuition fees that international students pay compared to their domestic colleagues. As public funding for post-secondary institutions steadily declines over the past several decades, international student tuition has become a means for cash-strapped universities to bring in desperately needed revenue. This for-profit model of education disrespects the economic, social and cultural contributions that international students bring to our communities; indebting learners from abroad for the benefit of Canadian citizens.
More recently the government removed international students and their dependents from accessing public healthcare. The change took effect in September 2018 with no consultation and was explained as a means to save $3.1 million of public money. By the same government’s estimation, international students contribute over $400 million to the Manitoba economy and occupy over 4,250 jobs – paying income and sales taxes without access to the public services they pay for.
The loss of healthcare combined with even-more drastically increasing tuition fees puts international students wellbeing at risk while also eliminating any incentive for future students to choose Manitoba as a place to study. The Canadian Federation of Students fundamentally believes both education and healthcare are a public good and a human right that should remain accessible for whoever needs them, regardless of their origin.
- Lobby government to reverse their draconian decision to remove international students.
- Educate the government and key stakeholders regarding the importance of providing health care to all persons of Manitoba, such as international students.
- Strengthen coalitions with groups throughout the province to push back against this change.
- Link all international student groups throughout our member locals to develop concrete actions and steps to ensure the rights of international students are protected.
- In conjunction with the Education for All campaign continues to push for the long term goal of the elimination of tuition and differential fees for international students and the shorter term goal of tying international student fees to the rate of inflation.