International Students Crucially Important to the University of Toronto

Due to recent changes in Doug Ford's higher education, several adjustments are likely to occur this coming educational year at schools in Ontario. There will soon be serious implications for international students attending university in Ontario.

For example, some Ontario schools are likely to increase enrolment and tuition fees for international students in an attempt to recover the lost revenue expected from a mandatory ten per cent decrease in tuition costs for domestic students.

To help prospective and current Ontario students better understand the trends in international and domestic tuition and enrolment over the past 12 years, we created this report based on data from the University of Toronto (all campuses).

This analysis will also give students a better idea of what to expect when Ford changes come into effect.

The main conclusion from this study is that the University of Toronto has progressively focused on increasing international tuition and enrolment over its domestic counterparts.

*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 from all campuses at the University of Toronto.

*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.

Toronto University Tuition Fees

International Tuition Increased by Almost Five Times More than Domestic Tuition From 2006 to 2017

The University of Toronto's international tuition fees increased more than domestic tuition fees and the inflation rate from 2006-2017 by a drastic amount.

International tuition outpaced domestic tuition and the inflation rate by about 4.9x and 6.6x more, respectively, from 2006-2017.

From 2006 to 2017, the average first-year domestic tuition cost of an undergraduate arts and science degree (full-time) at the University of Toronto grew from $5,222 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $6,590 in 2017, which is an increase of 26.20 per cent.

On the other hand, the international tuition for the same degree grew from $20,061 in 2006 (in 2017 dollars) to $45,690 in 2017, which corresponds to a much higher increase of 127.76 per cent.

International tuition increased 5x more than domestic tuition over a period of 12 years which shows the university's shifting focus to international students.

International Tuition Increased Almost 19 Times More Than Domestic Tuition Each Year

international tuition at the university of toronto has increased by almost 19 times the amount of domestic tuition on average from 2006 to 2017

Each year, international tuition has increased by 18.8x the amount of domestic tuition on average.

Over the last 12 years, the average annual domestic tuition increase was only $124 while the average annual international tuition increase was far more: $2,330.

This means, in terms of dollar values, that international tuition increased by almost 19 times the amount of domestic tuition each year.

international tuition at the University of Toronto has been significantly increasing while domestic tuition has increased only slightly

Adjusted for inflation: numbers shown are in 2017 dollars.

Analyzing the increase in tuition year over year further emphasizes the significantly higher international tuition increase rate compared to the domestic tuition rate and UofT's growing reliance on international tuition revenue.

In 2006-2017, International Tuition Increase Rates Outpaced Domestic Tuition by More than Double the Amount for Most Years

from 2006 to 2017, the university of toronto's international tuition increases has outpaced domestic tuition by significant amounts

A focus on increasing international tuition rates has been observed since 2007. 

For most years from 2006-2017, the increase in international tuition costs year-to-year was more than double that of domestic tuition's yearly increase.

For example, from 2013-2014, international tuition increased by 8.5x more 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.

University of Toronto Enrolment

International Enrolment Increase was 18.8x Larger than Domestic Enrolment from 2006-2017

the university of toronto international enrolment has skyrocketed relative to domestic enrolment from 2006 to 2017

The increase in international enrolment significantly outpaced domestic enrolment when looking at the past 12 years.

From 5,946 international students in 2006 to 17,447 in 2017, the University of Toronto's international student population grew by 193.28 per cent.

However, from 60,492 domestic students in 2006 to 66,711 in 2017, UofT's domestic student population grew by only 10.28 per cent.

Which effectively means that international student enrolment, from 2006 to 2017, grew almost 19 times more than domestic student enrolment.

University of Toronto Student Enrolment Breakdown

the university of toronto international student enrolment has been significantly increasing each year

Since 2006, international student enrolment has increased significantly, almost tripling in 12 years.

the university of toronto domestic student enrolment has also been increasing each year but at much slower rates than international enrolment

Domestic student enrolment has been increasing slowly, showing a slight decrease from 2015 and on.

Observing the trend of enrolment at the University of Toronto over the years, there is a sharp distinction between the two groups of students.

Although both international and domestic enrolment has been increasing yearly, domestic enrolment has been increasing at rates much slower than international enrolment and it also slowed down significantly after 2013 and has been relatively stagnant.

Looking at the enrolment numbers for international and domestic students year-over-year and from 2006 to 2017, it's evident that the University of Toronto has been shifting their focus more to international students over the years.

On Average, Annual International Enrolment was 11.4x Larger than Annual Domestic Enrolment

the university of toronto international enrolment increased at a significantly higher rate than domestic enrolment each year on average

Annually, international enrolment has steadily increased over 11 times more than domestic enrolment.

UofT's reliance on international students can be seen through how much international enrolment increased compared to domestic enrolment each year.

As international student enrolment grew 10.3 per cent each year on average, domestic enrolment grew by only 0.9 per cent.

the university of toronto international enrolment grew at much higher rates than domestic enrolment each year from 2006 to 2017

International enrolment grew at rates consistently higher than domestic enrolment year over year from 2006-2017.

When observing annual enrolment, it's clear that Toronto University has had a greater focus on growing its international student population more than its domestic student population.

Every year after 2007, the number of international students has consistently surpassed the number of domestic students by more than triple the amount.

For instance, in the years 2014-2015 the increase in enrolled international students was more than 13x larger than the increase in domestic students.

In 12 Years, Toronto University’s Proportion of International Students Rose by 2.7x

Toronto University's student population is comprised of more than double the number of international students in 2017 than in 2006.

From 9.83 per cent in 2006 to 26.15 per cent in 2017, the University of Toronto's increasing reliance on international students has resulted in the proportion of international students at UofT increasing by more than 2.5x in just 12 years.

It’s also important to mention that the proportion of international students at UofT has been above the Ontario average every year in the period of 2006-2017.

It is clear that the University of Toronto (all Campuses) has turned far more to international students as a major source of revenue over the past 12 years.

It then becomes plausible that universities could take the increasing international demand for a Canadian education as an opportunity to increase their revenue by increasing international tuition and enrolment, much more than their domestic counterparts.

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 for these students, 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


University of Toronto 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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