May 22, 2019

ASFA Statement on Proposed International Tuition Hikes

Following the deregulation of international tuition fees by the Government of Quebec, Concordia’s Board of Directors is poised to raise tuition for international students across the university.

International students already pay significantly higher tuition than any other students at Concordia, in addition to having to provide for their cost of living while having caps placed on the amount that they can work. ASFA believes that high quality, universally accessible postsecondary education is a human right. Tuition increases for any students—and especially for those who already pay the most—are an unnecessary barrier to education. Moreover, by making our school less accessible to international students the administration is pitting certain students against others and threatening the diversity of voices that we all cherish and encourage.

As such, ASFA will strongly oppose any effort to raise tuition. In particular, ASFA opposes the administration's current effort, which would further financially segregate our international peers.

ASFA is also deeply concerned by the Concordia administration’s lack of transparency and consultation on this issue. Students would not have been aware at all of the proposed tuition increases had it not been for a slip of the tongue at an Arts and Science Faculty Council meeting. This is also the second year in a row where votes on tuition increases have been held in May, when most students are on break and the capacity for student organizing is at its lowest. Given that students are the ones who will bear the weight of this change, and that it is our money funding Concordia in the first place, we feel it is only right that we be meaningfully consulted before a decision has been made and is being voted on.

We call on the University to actively listen to the concerns of students, to properly consult students on issues that directly affect them, and to oppose any and all actions that aim to privatise education or make it less accessible.

We also encourage all students who are concerned by the proposed tuition increases to join the protest outside the Board of Governors meeting on May 28th. These particular increases may be targeting international students, but tuition hikes for any student are an affront to accessible education for all. Even if you aren’t an international student please join the protest and stand in solidarity with our international peers. The administration is not providing us with formal spaces to voice our concerns, but that does not mean that we must be silent. We hope to see you there.

In solidarity,

The 2018-2019 ASFA Executive

The 2019-2020 ASFA Executive

ASFA Council