The Tomato

Canadian universities are welcoming potential international students ... for a cost. Photo: Jaclyn McRae-Sadik.
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Post-secondary schools are stepping up to fill the void in their bank accounts

In the wake of the Trump administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric, many foreign students are now setting their sights on Canada. In a truly moving display, universities across the Great White North are generously encouraging international students to study with them—for a small markup of course.

“We’re very excited to see more international students taking interest in our school,” said Jacques Frémont, president of the University of Ottawa, at a press conference on Monday. “Having students from all over the world means more diversity of thought, cultural exchange, and higher tuition f—I mean academic rigour.”

Some critics at the president’s jovial speech noted that international students face tuition rates that are significantly higher than those for regular students.

“That’s ridiculous,” Frémont shot back. “International students actually pay less than domestic ones… in some countries. Probably.”

Frémont also urged reporters to remember that, for many international students, coming to study in Canada has many non-scholarly benefits that are worth a bit of extra cash.

“Canada has its own unique atmosphere, who wouldn’t want to pay more for that?” he asked as a gust of winter wind blew over the crowd, dropping the temperature to around -25 °C.

However, Fremont’s speech did little to ease the minds of international students.

“Honestly, it’s a little insulting,” said Natasha Smalls, a first-year arts major who hails from Australia. “I was so excited to come to the U of O to study witchcraft and poker 101, but now I just feel ripped off.”

“I was planning on attending the U of O,” said Shelly Davis, an Irish student. “But because of this increase in fees, I had to take my second choice, a full scholarship to Oxford.”

“Look, the university needs to take income wherever it can get it,” said Walter Dale, a third-year political science student from Canada. How else could it have paid for that shrub in the green space or raises for its executives? It seems a little selfish to deny them that.”

“I don’t get why people say we need lower fees for international students. The university is fine as is,” said Dave Wesson, a U of O public relations representative. “It’s not like the U of O is dropping precipitously in the university rankings or anything—we’re fine as is!”

As a result of recent criticism, the university has announced it will make some changes to its international student plan.

“Obviously there has been some kind of misunderstanding,” said Frémont. “To make the situation more palatable, the university has promised to take pictures of Mounties hugging all new international students.

“We’re confident that should end any public backlash over increased fees,” said Frémont.