OCAD University Relying More on International Students For Increased Revenue

Doug Ford’s proposed cuts to Ontario’s education system has compelled universities to tweak their strategies regarding revenue generation.

One change, in particular, will require all Ontario universities to decrease their domestic tuition fees by ten per cent for the 2019-2020 year and then freeze that tuition for the following academic year.

This has led some schools, such as the University of Windsor, to focus more on international students to compensate for the losses expected to incur from this drop in domestic tuition fees.

Therefore, this change, and others, in the new provincial budget will largely affect current and future international students.

To help international students better understand the effects of Ford’s policies and other changes happening in Ontario’s education system, we analyzed OCAD University’s tuition and enrolment data over the past few years.

The data depicts that over time, OCAD University is becoming more and more reliant on international students for revenue purposes.

Tuition fees and enrollment of international students at OCAD University surged remarkably over the years, showing this high dependence on international students, with no signs of slowing down in the near future.

*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.

OCAD University Tuition Fees

International Tuition Fees Surged 3.85x More Than Domestic Tuition Fees

OCAD University's international tuition fees increased more than domestic tuition fees and the inflation rate from 2006-2017 by a significant amount.

Data is unavailable from 2006 to 2010.

The international tuition fee increase rate of 41.93 per cent is 3.85 times more than the domestic tuition fee increase rate of 10.89 per cent, and 4.74 times more than the inflation rate of 8.85 per cent.

International tuition fees increased very steeply in recent years whereas the hike in domestic tuition fees was low and gradual.

For example, from 2015 to 2017, the tuition fee for international students increased from $20,066 to $24,594 whereas the domestic tuition fee increased only from $6365 in 2015 to $6530 in 2017.

International Tuition Fees Increased 5.7x More Annually than Domestic Tuition Fees, on Average

international tuition at OCAD university has increased by almost six times the amount of domestic tuition on average from 2011 to 2015

Data is unavailable from 2006 to 2010 and 2016.

In terms of dollar values, the annual average tuition fee increase for international students was $684 from 2011 to 2015, whereas, tuition for domestic students only increased by $119 per year.

The increase is 5.7 times more for international students as compared to domestic students, evidently showing more focus on increasing international tuition fees, each year.

international tuition at OCAD university has been steadily increasing while domestic tuition has almost flatlined.

Data is unavailable for international tuition fees from 2006 to 2010 and 2016.

The data illustrated above shows the tuition fees in 2017 dollars, for both domestic and international students.

The data portrays a very rapid increase in the tuition fees for international students as compared to domestic tuition fees over the years.

International tuition for OCAD University increased by $7,265 from 2011 to 2017, whereas, domestic tuition only increased $641 over the same period of time.

This trend clearly indicates that OCAD University is relying more on international students for revenue purposes.

From 2011 to 2015, OCAD university's international tuition has outpaced domestic tuition by significant amounts

Data is missing for international students from 2006 to 2010 and 2016.

Although the rates of increase in domestic and international tuition was similar from 2013-2014, due to unavailable data from 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, we're unable to see how the tuition increases differed for the last few years.

However, it is clear that international tuition fees increased at a very high rate when compared on a year-to-year basis with domestic tuition fees, especially from 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

For batches of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, international tuition fees increased at a rate of 5.86 per cent and 6.34 per cent, whereas, for domestic tuition fees the increase rate was 2.39 per cent and 2.50 per cent, respectively.

*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.

OCAD University Enrolment

International Enrolment Surged by 185 Per Cent Over the Past 12 Years

OCAD university international enrolment has skyrocketed relative to domestic enrolment from 2006 to 2017

International enrolment increased by a remarkable 185.19 per cent from 2006 to 2017, whereas, domestic student’s enrollment only increased by 20.80 per cent.

In 2017, 616 international students were enrolled in the university as compared to just 216 students in 2006.

On the other hand, the enrolment difference for domestic students was very low with 3862 students in 2017 compared to 3197 students in 2006.

OCAD University Student Enrolment Breakdown

OCAD university international student enrolment has been steadily increasing each year

International student enrolment increased abruptly over the period of 12 years from 216 students in 2006 to 616 students in 2017, an increase of 2.8x.
OCAD university domestic student enrolment has increased from 2006 to 2013 but then has been on a steady decline from then on.

Domestic student’s enrolment showed a slow-paced increase from 2006 to 2017 with the highest number of enrolments in 2012 and 2013. After 2013, the enrolments have been decreasing.

This trend clearly indicates that the focus of OCAD University is more on growing the international student population than domestic students.

International Enrolment Increased Almost 6x More than Domestic Enrolment Each Year

OCAD university international enrolment increased at a significant rate each year on average compared to domestic enrolment

On average, international enrolment increased almost 6x more than domestic enrolment each year.

This data directly correlates with the graphs presented above and clearly demonstrates OCAD's focus on international students.

After 2010, International Enrolment Outpaced Domestic Enrolment Each Year by Significant Amounts

OCAD university international enrolment grew at much higher rates than domestic enrolment each year from 2010 to 2017

International enrolment increased very steadily year over year after 2010 while domestic enrolment has been on a continuous downward trend.

From 2010 to 2017, the enrolment changes for international students increased positively with the highest change being in 2010 (29.89 per cent) and 2011 (32.74 per cent).

For domestic students, enrolment changes were very low relative to international enrolment changes; domestic enrolment was even negative from years 2013-2017 while international enrolment increased by significant amounts.

The International Student Proportion at OCAD More than Doubled from 2006-2017

proportion of international students at OCAD university has significantly increased in 12 years.
The proportion of international students increased 2.4x from 2006-2017

The proportion of international students in OCAD University was similar to the Ontario average up until 2015 where the international student proportion started to become larger than the Ontario average.

The highest proportion of international students was 15.95 per cent in 2017 as compared to 12.77 per cent for Ontario average; this trend also does not show any signs of slowing down in the near future.

Tuition fees for international students at OCAD University increased dramatically over the past 12 years. Similarly, international student enrolment also increased very rapidly.

On the other hand, the tuition fees and enrolment for domestic students only very slightly changed over the past 12 years.

These results clearly indicate that OCAD University is primarily focused on international students to generate its revenue and it's likely that this will continue in order to compensate for losses expected to incur from the upcoming policy changes in Ontario’s education system.


*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


OCAD University CUDO Data

CUDO Tool by the Council of Ontario Universities

CUDO Archives


Ontario Universities' Increasing Reliance on International Students

Students Say Ford's Performance-Based Funding is Misguided

Queen’s University by the Numbers: An Intuitive Financial Analysis For Students

Should Higher-Ed Admissions Be Federally Regulated?

Author: daniel @ oneclass . com


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