Letter to President Alan Shepard Regarding International Tuition Increases

Dear members, 

SOGS is deeply concerned by the increases to international graduate student tuition this 2020-2021 academic year. These tuition increases ranged from 2-15% and were approved by the University’s Board of Governors last April. Furthermore, international graduate students were not notified of these planned increases in a timely manner, which impacted their ability to make arrangements to financially plan or compensate for this increase.  For example, Master’s of Engineering students saw a 15% increase and saw no additional value added to their student experience and professional development at Western University to account for the increase.

In order to get answers and find solutions, the Society wrote a letter to Western University’s President, Dr. Alan Shepard, on October 26, 2020. This letter outlined the Society’s concerns regarding these international tuition increases and was copied to Western University’s Vice-Provosts, Secretary, and Deans who oversee graduate studies, as well as the President of the University Students’ Council, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Western Gazette.

SOGS has requested that the administration formally:

  • Provide targeted financial support for international students in programs that saw a tuition increase this year.
  • Distribute additional information regarding access to student financial aid.
  • Provide a report outlining the decision-making process behind the tuition increase.
  • Create a committee with graduate student representation to review the collaboration of SGPS and the Faculties to support incoming students and reduce the service gaps on campus. 
  • Consult with international graduate students about their experiences and the support they would expect from a university of Western’s calibre.
  • Provide a formal response to this letter by the end of November 2020.

Read the letter here.

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