International tuition could be on the rise

TRU is proposing a three per cent increase for the next three years

If the proposed increase goes through, international students will be paying nine per cent more per semester by the fall of 2021. (Aidan Grether/The Omega)

A rise in tuition could be on the way for International Students studying at TRU. Announced at the public Board of Governors meeting on October 5, TRU proposed a three per cent increase on international students tuition starting in September of 2019.

TRU’s last tuition increase was in 2016, just after the change to a more hybrid model of tuition structuring for international students, where those coming to TRU from campuses across the world pay a flat rate for their first four courses and pay separately for additional courses.

Since then, TRU has not raised International tuition prices, unlike other universities in B.C. and the rest of Canada.

When asked why TRU hadn’t continued to increase tuition costs yearly, vice-president Administration & Finance, Matt Milovick said that TRU wanted to remain competitive.

“We continually benchmark our tuition fees relative to other institutions in B.C. and nationally and ensure that our tuition fees remain competitive,” Milovick said in an email. “Assuming the three per cent increase goes through, we will have the second lowest international tuition among B.C. universities.”

If the three per cent increase passes for fall 2019, international tuition at TRU will have an estimated cost of $17,304, while universities such as UFV will have an estimated cost of $17,709. VIU will still be the lowest on the list of B.C. institutions at $16,688.

If this motion passes, not only will the three per cent increase go into effect for the 2019 year, but the subsequent two years ahead will also see a three per cent increases per year.

When asked if TRU had plans on doing more yearly increases after the proposed three years, Milovick said it’s a strategy they might revisit.

“Assuming the increases are approved, the University will revisit its strategy of incremental annual increases at the end of the three year period,” he said.

TRU still needs to consult with the Board of Governors on decisions such as these.

With international enrolment on the rise on campus, TRU has no concern about how the increase looked to future international students.

“The proposed three per cent increase is the smallest increase in the history of TRU’s international tuition increases,” said associate president of TRU World, Baihua Chadwick, via email. “An international student taking four courses will see an increase of $207 per semester.  The proposed three year period provides planning certainty for parents, students and for TRU as well.”

Chadwick further mentioned initiatives TRU was launching if the increase was approved, the first being a 24/7 multilingual and cultural support program for all TRU students, international and domestic, as well a special emergency fund for international students that come face to face with unforeseen financial hardships.

The Board of Governors will vote on the increases on Dec. 7.