Universities and Colleges in border states trying to lure international students with heavily cut fees

Universities and Colleges in border states trying to lure international students with heavily cut fees

Posted on 26 Jun 2014 Views ( 1337 )

Some Universities and Colleges in Canadian Border States are trying to attract International students with heavily cut fees.

All this is playing out against the backdrop of falling enrolment in the US and concerted pressure on universities in Canada to increase further their international student numbers, which have gone up 50 per cent over the past decade.

As more countries compete for international business, “you are seeing national governments driving national strategies, and I think you’ll see more of it”, said Allan Goodman, president of the Institute of International Education.

He added: “Maybe a decade ago, if you said there’s a concerted national government effort to promote a country as a destination for international students, you were mainly talking about Australia. Today you have to talk about Canada, Germany, France, Spain, and the UK, all with national government-level efforts to attract international students.”

Canadian higher education institutes hosts 10 % of International students, generating C$8 billion (£4.6 billion) a year – more than the nation earns from exports of wheat, according to the government.

The national goal is to double the percentage by 2022.

International student fees in Canada rose another 10 per cent this year, three times faster than domestic fees. So the next logical step in the scramble for students appears to be price cuts.

 “We are actively recruiting in the border states,” he confirmed.

Meanwhile, at McGill University, French students are being charged the same as Canadians, which is much less than what other international students pay.

The University of Ottawa has dropped tuition fee for foreign students who study in French to the same amount as domestic students pay – about C$6,000-8,000, down from as much as C$24,000.

The university said it took the step to bring up the number of French speaking foreign students from 18 per cent to 40 per cent; most French-speaking international students come from countries where tuition is free or much lower than in Canada, so they require financial inducements, it added.

Competition “is picking up speed because strategic plans are talking about the need to prepare the next generation for global citizenship”, said Dr Goodman. However, it was “too soon to tell” whether this would translate into a broader price war.

“There are still a lot of people who want to study abroad and have the means to do so [at current prices],” he added.