Frequently Asked Questions

What is the university proposing?

UBC wants to raise international student tuition 50% over the next 3 years, on top of a 10% increase approved last year. If the increase is approved, an average degree would cost international students over $150,000.

UBC has also been asking the provincial government to lift the cap on domestic tuition, calling it a “challenge.” When tuition was last uncapped, from 2002-2005, domestic fees rose 84%. A similar increase today would see domestic tuition rise to over $10,000 per year.

Does UBC need the money?

No. While some faculties need higher funding, only 20% of the increase will be going to faculties. Most of the increase will go toward a “strategic projects” fund. Plus, international students already subsidize their faculties – their fees more than cover their education.

So, what’s the point?

UBC says they want to raise their fees to match those of schools like the University of Toronto and other supposed competitors. They say this will improve the “value” of a UBC degree and increase the university’s “excellence” without offering an explanation of what those terms means.

What impact will this have on the student body?

The University says they don’t know. UBC does not track the socioeconomic backgrounds of international students for a variety of reasons including their belief that such information is “very personal” and that they do not know how to. However, many current international students have noted that they would not have been able to attend UBC at the proposed new tuition rates. We will all lose if we start attracting only the richest, rather than the best, students.

This seems like a bad idea.

We agree. UBC’s interim provost Angie Redish acknowledged the tuition increases would hurt students in an interview with The Ubyssey. “Is it going to be less of a good deal for students? Yeah I guess that’s a fair way to put it,” she said.

How else do UBC administrators responded to student concerns?

UBC’s director of international student recruitment referred to students as “customers” and noted, “If you have a really good product … then some parents and families just dig a little deeper.” Meanwhile president Martha Piper said she did not believe high tuition was a barrier to education.

Yeesh. Are you the only ones unimpressed by all this?

No. Even UBC VP Students Louise Cowin called the administration’s response to questions about affordability in light of the proposed increases “less than elevated.”

What can I do to help stop these increases? 

  1. Participate in the boycott of UBC Food Services for the month of November. If UBC thinks they wring more tuition money out of us, the least we can do is keep our discretionary income out of their hands.
  2. Like and follow the AMS on Facebook, twitter, and instagram to keep up-to-date on what’s happening and use #AffordUBC when talking about the proposed increases.
  3. Share this information with your friends.