Universities in Ontario are expected to face profound consequences due to recent changes made in higher education by Doug Ford. Most likely, international students will feel the impact of these changes much more than domestic students when it comes to tuition fees.
The ten per cent drop in domestic tuition that will come into effect later this year will surely cause a reaction from some Ontario schools.
Universities could very likely consider increasing international enrolment and tuition to help offset this anticipated revenue loss.
With these changes in mind, we decided to analyze the international student setting at McMaster University between 2006 and 2017 to help current and prospective students better understand the trends over the past decade, as well as what to expect after these new provincial changes come into effect.
In our study, we found that McMaster has increasingly focused on increasing international tuition and enrolment, while its domestic counterparts have remained essentially stagnant for over a decade.
*When a year is stated, it is the beginning of that academic year. (ie. 2006 refers to the 2006-2007 academic year)
*Data was collected mainly from CUDO (Common University Data Ontario) by the Council of Ontario Universities, school documents such as tuition fee schedules and school-specific CUDO data.
*Tuition fee data was based on the tuition cost for an average undergraduate arts and science full-time degree as this is the metric CUDO uses as a common metric among all Ontario universities.
*The tuition fees stated below refer to the tuition cost for the first-year of studies.
McMaster University Tuition Fees
International Tuition Increased 2.5x and 4.5x More than Domestic Tuition and Inflation, Respectively
On average, at McMaster University, the first-year domestic tuition cost of an undergraduate arts and science degree (full-time) increased from $4,935 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $6,714 in 2017, which is an increase of 36 per cent.
International tuition for the same degree increased from $14,867 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $27,977 in 2017, an increase of 88 per cent.
The increase in international tuition exceeded the increase in domestic tuition and the inflation rate by more than 2.5x and 4.5x more, respectively.
International Tuition Increased More than Seven Times a Year Compared to Domestic Tuition
From 2006 to 2017, the average annual increase in domestic tuition was only $162, while the average annual increase in international tuition was an alarming $1,192.
This means that in terms of dollar values, the rate of increase in international tuition rose 7.4x times faster than the amount of domestic tuition each year.
Given that the international tuition cost for an average undergraduate arts and science degree was $27,977 in 2017, if this trend continues for the following 12 years, McMaster’s international tuition fee will be $43,473 by 2030.
Observing the annual increase in tuition fees, it is clear that McMaster has been increasing international tuition fees at rates far higher than domestic rates.
Every year, the drastic monetary difference in tuition increases shows the intention of McMaster University to further capitalize on incoming international students.
After 2012, International Tuition Increase Rates Outpaced Domestic Rates Each Year by Almost Double the Amount
The increase in international and domestic tuition was fairly balanced until 2010.
After 2011, international tuition hikes were far greater than domestic tuition increases each year.
For instance, the increase in international tuition from 2011 to 2012 was 12x higher than domestic tuition.
*International Student Fees NOTE:
One important thing to note is that the fees being used to calculate international fees do not include ancillary fees, UHIP, Ontario's International Recovery Fee, etc.
Although ancillary fees are typically equal for both domestic and international students, extra fees such as UHIP and Ontario's International Recovery Fee could add an additional $1000-$2000 to an international student's yearly fees.
Which would further widen the gap between total international and domestic fees.
*Enrolment data is based on both full time and part time students for all levels of degrees including Bachelor’s and 1st Professional Degrees, Master’s Degrees, and Doctoral Degrees.
McMaster University Enrolment
International Enrolment Increased by 126 Per Cent While Domestic Enrolment Increased by Only 21 Per Cent From 2006 to 2017
McMaster's focus on growing its international student population over its domestic student population is apparent.
The international student population of McMaster University has risen by 126 per cent, from 1550 international students in 2006 to 3503 in 2017.
However, the domestic student population of McMaster University has only grown by 21.13 per cent from 22,715 national students in 2006 to 27,514 in 2017.
McMaster University Student Enrolment Breakdown
While both international and domestic enrolment has effectively risen every year, domestic enrolment has slowed considerably after 2010 and has since 2013 remained relatively stagnant.
Observing the developments in 2006-2017 by international and domestic enrolment rates, it can be seen that McMaster's focus has been on increasing its amount of international students and their tuition charges.
There are 4.5x More International Students Enrolling Each Year Than Domestic Students
While the average annual rise in international students was 7.91 per cent, domestic enrolment rose by just 1.77 per cent.
This indicates that every year, on average, international enrolment grew 4.5x faster than domestic enrolment.
The rates at which McMaster increased its number of international students unquestionably greatly exceeded the domestic rates almost every year of this time period.
Since 2009, the school's focus on expanding the number of international students is very clear.
For example, the change in enrolled international students in the years 2015-2016 was more than 5x larger than the increase in domestic students.
In addition, there was no increase in domestic enrolment the following academic year, while international student enrolment increased by nearly 23 per cent.
In 2006-2017 the Proportion of International Students Above Ontario’s Average For Most Years
McMaster's proportion of international students has shifted from 6.82 percent in 2006 to 12.73 percent in 2017. This 1.9x increase reflects the university's intentions to increase its international population.
Maybe if the pattern continues, the proportion of international students in the next 12 years will again double.
As international demand for Ontario education is expected to increase due to the quality of education and accessibility of the province's schools, we should also anticipate that universities will take advantage of the opportunity to increase revenue by increasing international tuition rates and enrolment at much higher rates than their domestic counterparts.
Prospective and current students should be aware that Ford's changes will surely have repercussions in higher education institutions, with a high likelihood of affecting international students more than domestic students.
*Ancillary fees, Incidental fees, UHIP, Ontario’s International Recovery fee, and any other fees were excluded from calculations; only tuition fees were included.
*Enrolment data was collected from CUDO by the Council of Ontario Universities.
*See here for a similar analysis but on Ontario as a whole:
Ontario Universities' Increasing Reliance on International Students
Author: daniel @ oneclass . com