An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
AN INTERESTING QUESTION, one of many, came up during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the TRU campus last week.
There were a lot of international students in the audience. One of them suggested international students shouldn’t have to pay higher tuition fees than Canadian students do. In the opinion of that student, getting rid of higher tuition fees for international students is a simple matter of fairness.
I think a lot of people might argue international students should pay even more.
When I went to school in the U.S., I accepted that I had to pay out-of-state tuition fees that were double what my American friends were paying.
It amounted to thousands of dollars a year, and, at one point, I had to leave school and go to work because I could no longer afford it. Fortunately, I was able to return later, cash in hand for those expensive tuition fees.
I didn’t regard it as unfair. I had no roots in the U.S. I had never paid taxes there, and neither had my parents. The Rothenburgers didn’t contribute to the U.S. school system or the roads and infrastructure or social services. The state of Washington had no interest in subsidizing me as it did local students. By the way, I did get excellent health care down there when I needed it.
When an international student comes to a Canadian university like TRU, he or she arrives to a system that has been bought and paid for by Canadian taxpayers. There’s no logical reason to subsidize international students.
Students from other countries are a tremendously positive presence in our communities. But, sorry, international students, you’ll have to keep paying more than Canadian students.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.