The increase in international students’ cost-of-living threshold will hurt students
The government says international students need more than $20,000 to live in Canada.

The University of Toronto (UofT) is an institution known for its acceptance of students of a multitude of different ethnicities and nationalities. UofT has a positive reputation around its acceptance of international students, and believing in equal opportunities for students–a major facet of its mission statement. Many students from around the world have been lucky enough to call the GTA home and UofT a part of their undergraduate or graduate experience. 

On Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Canadian government officially announced that international students who are filing study permit applications face an increase in the cost-of-living requirement which must be met for approval, which has skyrocketed to $20,635, more than double the previous requirement, starting in 2024. 

Many of you who read this must be thinking: wow, how will these students manage, and who will help them? Well, don’t you worry because the government has this all planned folks! Marc Miller, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, states that this is actually to help the students as it allows them to feel more financially ready if they plan on taking up life in Canada. How kind of you Mr. Miller… 

Looking at this from a student’s perspective I’m fortunate enough to be a part of the UofT commuter population. For me, this means that I live under my parents’ roof and don’t have to pay rent. Ultimately, as a local student, my yearly tuition is less than half of what any international student pays. However, several of my friends on campus aren’t fortunate enough to say the same.

Through hearing the opinions of my friends, I have discovered that this increase is much more severe than I originally understood. The first obvious point that several international students have discussed is the unfairness of this increase, as they believe doubling the original cost is an extremely high jump, causing several individuals to reconsider their aim to migrate over to different countries as international students.  

Furthermore, many theorize that this cost increase will limit the education of many, as fewer people can now afford to study as international students in Canada. these students may be forced to rethink their decisions about UofT, instead opting to gain knowledge within their homelands.

So yes, maybe our government does indeed think that they’re being kind and caring towards the future of these students, as they aim to prepare them for the difficulties they will eventually face in Canada. Yet, in many ways, they’re doing the opposite and, ultimately, are causing more harm than good. 

By doubling tuition fees, the government is discouraging individuals from around the world from traveling to Canada for academic purposes. Individuals will be forced to seek education elsewhere or to join the working class in their countries of origin due to the new financial barriers posed by the Canadian government. 

Staff Writer (Volume 50) — Vanessa is a fourth-year student double majoring in Psychology and English with a minor in Education. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys picking up a good novel and escaping into the world of reading or playing some of her favourite songs on her record player. She also loves writing. You can often find her journaling throughout her day.


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