What’s going on?
On Wednesday, May 25, Humber College’s Board of Governors motioned to approve a 2.5 per cent increase in international student tuition. The international student tuition increase was put forth without any consultation from IGNITE, nor was IGNITE invited to help shape the plan or provide feedback in its early stages. Instead, IGNITE was presented with a completed plan that lacks any thought or care towards international students.
Alex Sein, IGNITE Director of the 2021-2022 Board, also sits on Humber’s Academic & Student Affairs Committee and voted against the tuition increase plan on behalf of IGNITE and all students. Despite Alex’s nay vote and IGNITE’s lack of support, the raise in tuition was approved and Humber College will proceed with their planned tuition increase.
What does it mean?
Beginning Fall 2022, international students will be paying 2.5 per cent more toward their tuition fees at Humber College. There has been no information shared regarding plans for tuition fees beyond this coming academic year.
Why doesn’t IGNITE support the tuition increase?
IGNITE knows international students have suffered greatly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as shown by the IGNITE Spin Wheel Survey results from 2021-22. In this survey, international students identified their finances as being most negatively impacted during the pandemic. In this same survey, international students selected tuition as the number one priority that IGNITE should advocate for on their behalf. As the official voice for Humber College and University of Guelph Humber students, IGNITE has a responsibility to represent the needs and interests of our students and as such, cannot support a decision that is so clearly unaligned with our international students’ experience.
Board of Directors Chair, Jessica Urzua Cordon-Carrere Valle, said, “International students are already paying so much money compared to domestic students; a lot of them are struggling to support themselves, lacking basic needs like housing, food, transportation and funds for a social life. Everything in the economy has increased in price.”
Humber College must do more to ease the challenges experienced by international students and join IGNITE in advocating for them. For example, Brock University changed its tuition structure to ensure tuition fees for international students remain the same throughout the entirety of their program, giving them structure and relief from annual tuition increases.
What happens next?
Unfortunately, while this decision is irreversible, IGNITE will continue to advocate on behalf of students. Voices are stronger when they’re united; that’s why we’re members of the College Student Alliance. In partnership with students across Ontario, IGNITE is advocating for a tuition freeze for international students. We encourage you to get involved with us by continuing to stay engaged with both ourselves and the College Student Alliance.
It’s also important to consider student issues when voting in general elections. Ontario’s provincial election is quickly approaching, and you can use your voice on behalf of yourself and your peers. Get to know the candidates and what they’ll do for students, here.
IGNITE will keep you updated as we work toward a better future for all students.