Students support financial aid measures for international graduate students

TORONTO, Nov. 8 /CNW/ - Students welcome the Government of Ontario's announcement of increased financial support for international students in the form of 75 new PhD scholarships and reject the Progressive Conservative petition calling for these funds to be redirected.

"International students are an important part of Ontario's post-secondary student body, and they deserve assistance in completing their studies," said Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "The petition launched by the Progressive Conservatives unfairly pits international students against domestic students and ignores the fact that, as a result of Ontario's excessive tuition fee increases, all students are in need of more assistance, regardless of their status."

Ontario students pay the highest tuition fees in Canada. Average domestic tuition fees for undergraduate students are $6,300 and $9,500 for graduate students. International students pay on average $18,000 for one year, and must pay for additional services, such fees to cover services of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). Upwards of eighty percent of the 38,000 international students at Ontario's colleges and universities stay in Canada after they complete their studies.

"Most international students are future Canadians and Tim Hudak should demand that the upfront costs of all students be reduced, rather than making support conditional on their current citizenship status," said Kimalee Phillip, Chairperson of the Ontario Graduate Caucus. "Each international student actually saves Ontario tax payers more than $150,000, since their primary and secondary schooling happened outside of Canada. For Ontarians, a system that encourages and supports international students is win-win."

Students have called on Premier Dalton McGuinty to ensure that the new scholarships be available to international students based on financial need, regardless of country of origin. These scholarships should also be divided equitably across academic disciplines and schools to assist students studying a broad range of programs.

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario

For further information: For further information:

Sandy Hudson, Ontario Chairperson: 416-925-3825
Joel Duff, Organiser: 416-925-3825 or 416-707-0349 (cell)

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