International students cry foul over proposed 5% tuition hike

International students at the University of Alberta are facing another tuition hike, leading some to believe they are being targeted unfairly.
Second-year engineering student Rabib Alam is upset that the University of Alberta board of governors is considering a five per cent tuition hike for international students. (CBC )

International students at the University of Alberta are facing another tuition hike, leading some to believe they are being targeted unfairly. 

The university’s board of governors will vote next month on a proposed five percent jump in the amount paid by foreign students, which would increase tuition between $900 and $1,600.

Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk denies the province is taking advantage of foreign students. (CBC )

“We are sort of the cash cows for the university,” said Rabib Alam, a second-year engineering student from Bangladesh.

Alam wouldn’t be as concerned if Canadian students faced a similar increase, but they don’t, because the amounts are regulated by the province.

“That would be fine, acceptable, but just using us, exploiting us like that, is very, very wrong,” Alam said.

Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk denies the province is taking advantage of international students.

He says Alberta values the people who come here to study. .

“We want them to be over here but we charge them competitive prices that are reflective of the costs. I appreciate that they are subject to fluctuations,” Lukaszuk said.

“Currency exchange is a matter, any increases matter, but that is the cost.”

The university's board of governors will vote on the tuition hike on Dec.13.

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