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A hefty increase in tuition could be coming for many new international students at Dalhousie University, much to the dismay of people already studying at the Halifax institution.

The proposal would see new international students who are entering six different faculties face an average increase of more than $7,200 per year, with the rate locked in for the duration of their studies.

If approved, engineering students starting their studies in the 2023-24 academic year would face the largest increase, paying $11,140 more than those who enrolled in 2022-23.

While current students aren’t impacted by this proposal, they’re voicing concern about the impact the move would have.

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“The tuition fees for international students [are] already considerably high, and also for our wages for us — for anybody in Halifax — are really low,” says student Hamdaan Baig. “Also, the tax is 15 per cent… the highest in the whole country.”

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“I think a fee increase is inevitable, but this large a hike is a bit too much,” says Muskan Vazirani, a graduate student.

Dalhousie University’s tuition increase proposal would see some international pay between $3,513 and $11,140 more per year.

Courtesy: Dalhousie University

The university declined a Global News interview request Monday, but says in a statement that the proposal would help bring it in line with other “similar” Canadian universities, while also providing a “tuition guarantee.”

“Dalhousie’s international fees are currently below the average of our comparators,” a statement from Janet Bryson, a university spokesperson, reads. “Students will pay the same tuition price in each year of their program. This provides international students and their families with cost certainty in the face of external factors like inflation.”

Bryson did not answer why the proposal only impacts international students.

A broad increase of three per cent for students, including international ones, was already passed for the 2022-23 school year, “the same amount it has increased annually for more a decade now,” a Dalhousie budget document says.

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“This new approach to international tuition will enable Dalhousie to make significant investments in our student experience,” Bryson says in a statement.

“Some of the more important investments planned include increased funding for scholarships and bursaries, additional student supports, and improvements to academic buildings and learning spaces.”

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But the Dalhousie Student Union says the timing of the proposal is poor, with two consultation sessions happening right before a strike from CUPE 3912 members.

“It just limited our capacity to actually fully hear from students and fully understand what their needs are,” says Aparna Mohan, the student union president.

She calls the tuition guarantee “an incredibly powerful incentive,” but says now is not the time.

“Given everything that we have endured in the last several years, especially international students, the increases did not sit well with international students at all.”

Mohan says the Board of Governors will vote on the proposal Tuesday, behind closed doors.

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New Dalhousie University international students facing hefty tuition hikes – Halifax |

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