Trent University Increasingly Dependent on International Students

Adjustments to higher education institutions approved by Doug Ford this coming academic year, such as the ten per cent tuition decrease for domestic students, will likely have major consequences for current and prospective international students.

For example, some Ontario schools will likely increase enrolment and tuition fees for international students in an attempt to recuperate the lost revenue expected to occur from this domestic tuition decrease.

With the aim of showing current trends in international and domestic student tuition and enrolment at Trent University, we compiled data from 2006-2017 to find meaningful insights to share with both international and domestic students at Trent.

To summarize our findings, over the years, Trent University has alarmingly shifted its revenue focus to international students, resulting in a decrease in domestic student enrolment versus a drastic increase in international enrolment since 2006.

Trent’s reliance on international students is clearly evident through international tuition and enrolment growing at rates far greater than domestic rates.

See below for the analysis.

*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.

Trent University Tuition Fees

International Tuition Increased by 1.4x and 1.9x More than Domestic Tuition and the Inflation Rate, Respectively

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

International tuition increased more than domestic tuition from 2006 to 2017.

The average first-year domestic tuition cost of an undergraduate arts and science degree (full-time) at Trent grew from $5,221 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $6,600 in 2017, which is an increase of 26.43 per cent.

Whereas the international tuition for the same degree grew from $14,246 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $19,397 in 2017, which is an increase of 36.16 per cent.

The increase in international tuition outpaced the domestic and inflation rate by 1.4x and 1.9x, respectively.

International Tuition's Annual Increase Tripled That of Domestic Tuition Each Year

international tuition at trent university has increased by more than three times the amount of domestic tuition on average from 2006 to 2017

International tuition has increased by more than three times the amount that domestic tuition increased, on average.

Each year, Trent University has paid more attention to increasing international tuition than domestic tuition.

From 2006 to 2017, the average annual domestic tuition increase was only $126 while the average annual international tuition increase was $386.

This means, in terms of dollar values, that international tuition increased by more than three times the amount that domestic tuition increased each year.

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

Adjusted for inflation: numbers shown are in 2017 dollars. Tuition data for 2011 and 2012 was unavailable.

On an annual basis, it is evident that there has been a larger rise in international tuition, compared to the small rise in domestic tuition.

The important thing to consider here is that this larger increase year over year for international tuition is very likely to accelerate after Ford's changes come into effect as universities will turn to other sources of revenue (namely international students).

*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.

Trent University Enrolment

In 12 Years, International Enrolment has Increased 1.6x More than Domestic Enrolment

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

The increase in international enrolment significantly outpaced domestic enrolment when looking at enrolment from 2006 to 2017.

From 410 international students in 2006 to 572 in 2017, Trent University's international student population has grown by 39.51 per cent.

However, from 7,065 domestic students in 2006 to 8,865 in 2017, Trent University's domestic student population has only grown 25.48 per cent.

Which effectively means that international student enrolment from 2006 to 2017 grew 1.6x more than domestic student enrolment, showing Trent University shifting its focus to rely heavier on international students.

Trent University Student Enrolment Breakdown

trent university international student enrolment has been steadily increasing each year

There has been a steady increase in international student enrolment for most years since 2006.
trent university domestic student enrolment has been slightly volatile and then slightly increased each year from 2012 and on

Domestic student enrolment has been slightly volatile until 2012 where there was a slow but steady increase from then on.

Looking at the year-over-year enrolment numbers for international and domestic students from 2006 to 2017, there is no it is clear distinction between the enrolment numbers for each student group.

However, when digging a little deeper, to see data like the average annual increases in enrolment the distinctions are more visible.

On Average, International Enrolment Increased 1.4x More Annually Than Domestic Enrolment

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

International enrolment has continuously increased around 1.4x more on average per year than domestic enrolment.

As international student enrolment grew 3.22 per cent each year on average, domestic enrolment grew by only 2.36 per cent.

Meaning that international enrolment grew 1.4x more than domestic enrolment each year, on average.

With this analysis, it can be seen that Trent University has increased its dependence on international student enrolment and higher international tuition costs over the past 12 years.

Ontario universities have taken advantage of their high international demand to increase their international tuition fees and enrolment without major implications due to the quality and accessibility of their schools, as well as a cheap Canadian dollar relative to competing countries.

Ford's changes, such as the ten per cent drop in domestic tuition, are expected to be matched by the rise in international enrolment by universities, along with higher tuition fees, and is, therefore, something that current and potential international students should be made aware of.


*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


Trent 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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