International students are the future of Canada’s diverse multicultural society. They add character and new perspectives to college campuses that in their absence would leave the college experience very one dimensional and bland. Canada has made great efforts recruit and obtains these students from overseas in Canadian institutions, (Benzie 2016). The Canadian government relies heavily on these students to make an impact on the economy as a whole and give these students the best opportunities. These opportunities, however, come at a cost; the Canadian government must also factor in the loss of taxes these students do not pay. These three main working factors are why the post-secondary institutions should keep international students at higher tuition rates. Primarily, Canadian economy needs external revenues to its budget, and the financial flows from the international students are one of the sources. Another factor that is no less important is the fact that international students are not taxpayers in Canada, and therefore, they are to pay for the education. Overall, the justification of differential student fees comes from the fact that Canadian students and their parents are the primary beneficiaries of the fiscal policy in their country, contrary to the international students.
First and foremost, there is an economic reasoning behind justifying differential student fees. In essence, there are different ways of fulfilling the state budget, and the income coming from different sources. Celestina Aleouba claims that “One common argument justifying the high price of international student fees is that international students do not contribute to the Canadian economy, because they do not pay taxes, and should, therefore, be charged more in tuition.” (Aleouba, 2014) It is, in fact, could be justified through the way of looking into the budget income of Canadian government for the past decades. In comparison to the United States, the fees for international students set in Canada are much lower from those in the United States. Therefore, the context of external funding, getting extra income from students and stimulating their activities at the same time is the way how Canada can manage its income. There is an ongoing tendency of increasing amount of students coming to study in Canada. Canadian Bureau for Education estimates that the current trend is that there are 7% of growth per annum. The latest statistics presented on that matter illustrates that as of 2010, there were 218,000 students studying in Canada. There is certain reasoning why students choose this country for studying, and affordability is one of the key factors in that regard. The reasoning for this could also be justified, given that students are the source of extra financing in the country, too. The overall spending on education in 2010 was estimated to 7.7 billion of Canadian dollars and stimulated the creation of 81.000 jobs in the educational sector. In that regard, the income is the sufficient contribution to the Canadian economy which should nit be underestimated, as the governmental revenue comprised 445 million dollars. (Aleobua, 2014). Yet, being aware of the increase of international students in Canada, the provincial government increased the fees for the newcomers to their country by 32% in 2013. (Brown, 2014). By this time, the figures remain the same, while making international students the so-called cash-cows for the Canadian economy.
No less important justification on the imposed tuition fees in Canada is the fact that international students may not be perceived the main contributors to the Canadian economy before enrolling in the educational institutions due to the limited involvement in the fiscal policy in the country. Even though Canada has numerous services that are for free, such as healthcare, the education is largely dependent on the funding originating from the taxpayers. Therefore, only Canadian citizens who are the main source for the taxpaying system may consequently benefit from the free education. The record-rate enrollment of the international students is yet another stimulus for the Canadian government to create jobs and present its policies as viable. Also, from the economic perspective, the fact that there is external income to the budget is the positive gesture as such. On the other hand, fiscal policy is one of the most crucial and detrimental for the economy of any country. Given the potential of Canada in the global arena, the educational revenues clearly indicate that the country has a strong benefit. Therefore, even though one may find certain contradictions between Canadian universalist approach, the reality evidences the positive impact of those revenues onto Canadian economy. Therefore, if one is to look into cost and benefit analysis on that matter, there will be clear indicators of benefits from imposing the fees for education for international students. On the other hand, if one is to think of the fees introduced in the critical terms, the effects would not appear so positive.
To conclude, there is a huge potential from the imposed fees on education for students has a positive influence onto Canadian economy. While looking at the economic figures, there is clear evidence that collected fees from the international students make substantial incomes onto the Canadian economy. Moreover, if one is to think about the raised taxes, one may note a natural effect from the fact of collected fees. Given that the economy is in need of the new cash flows in a constant manner, the incomes from the international students is one of the best ways to fill in the financial gaps and stimulate jobs and growth.
- Aleobua, C. (2014, November 29). Lower international student fees — The Silhouette. Retrieved March21, 2016, from http://www.thesil.ca/lower-international-student-fees
- Brown, L. (2014, September 11). International students or ‘cash cows’? | Toronto Star. Retrieved March 21, 2016, http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2014/09/11/international_students_or_cash_cows.html
- University tuition fees, 2013/2014. (2013, September 12). Retrieved March 21, 2016, from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/130912/dq130912b-eng.htm