University apologizes by feeding those affected

Tuition fees for international students will increase by nearly 12 per cent, as decided by Capilano University’s Board of Governors at their meeting on November 16. At first, some members of the BoG attempted to postpone decision on the matter, as they found that the breakdown of fees and the analysis was missing from the proposal given to them. It was brought up that in the past, when issues regarding tuition increases were brought to the board, an analysis and breakdown was simultaneously provided. However, according to Cindy Turner, Vice President of Finance and Administration, and Catherine Vertesi, Vice President of Education, the matter desperately needed to be voted upon at that meeting, due to its time-sensitive nature.

While the province of BC provides some subsidy to the cost of post secondary education, these funds are not allowed to subsidize tuition of international students, according to Vertesi and Turner. The tuition rates for international students did not increase last year.

It was expressed during the discussion that one of the contributing reasons for the large increase was in order to make it so that the university was not subsidizing international students’ tuition fees.

One board member asked if this meant it could be assumed that the university had been subsidizing, to which Turner responded yes.

Dr. Kris Bulcroft, the president of Capilano University, said that the decision to increase tuition by 12 per cent was “done with great consultation” and that those involved remained “cognisant of the burden of increased tuition fees on students.”

The two student representatives, David Clarkson and Bahiyyih Galloway, spoke against the motion, as did the Capilano Students’ Union’s representative, Noah Fine, and a faculty member of the board, Stephen Williams. Clarkson, Galloway and Williams voted against the motion (Fine does not have voting rights), and were the only members to do so.

Clarkson expressed his concern that education was being referred to as though it was a product, an industry and a commodity during the discussion.

The CSU had a discussion about the increase in tuition at their executive meeting last Friday. The students on the BoG explained that they did not have much notice about the fact that this issue would be discussed at the BoG meeting. This was also why Gary Guo, International Students’ Liaison for the CSU, was not able to attend the discussion with the BoG. Clarkson explained that he was not able to get in contact with Guo until the day after the meeting, and as such Guo was not informed about the issue until after it had been discussed. There are, however, plans to have a further discussion about it at the next International Students’ Committee meeting.

Interestingly, the BoG had invited several selected international students to their dinner that is exclusive to members of the BoG unless an invitation is extended to an individual or a group of students. The dinner preceded the commencement of the BoG’s official meeting, at which time the decision to increase international students’ tuition was made.

“I think we all appreciate that this is an increase,” says Turner about the tuition fees.

//Samantha Thompson, News Editor

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