By Rachel Halpern
Starting in the fall of 2018, most international PhD students at the University of Toronto will pay tuition fees equivalent to those of domestic students.
“This is very positive news for the University,” said Joshua Barker, dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and vice-provost of graduate research and education. “We strive to remove any barriers, financial or otherwise, that graduate students might face as they look to attend our university.”
The new fee structure will benefit current and prospective international PhD students and help U of T compete on the global stage for leading scholars. The new structure will include students in all years of a PhD program, but will exclude students in doctoral stream master’s programs. International tuition fees for some doctoral programs (Doctor of Education, Doctor of Musical Arts) will be determined in consultation with the relevant divisions through the annual budget planning process.
In the 2017-2018 academic year, 1,179 of the total 6,145 PhD students were international students.
The fee reduction lends further support to U of T’s advocacy position for additional provincial funding of international PhD enrolment. In order for the University to claim an international student for funding eligibility, the student must be charged domestic tuition fee rates.
The University currently receives operating funding for 38 international PhD spaces, all of whom are Connaught Scholars and already pay domestic tuition fees.
An across-the-board reduction of tuition fees will greatly simplify the administration process for graduate students and departments. The financial impact of the new tuition structure will be partially offset by the University’s graduate funding commitment, since the University currently covers the cost of tuition and fees for many international students in eligible PhD programs.
The University of Toronto competes for the best graduate students from around the world. The presence of international students at the University has a positive impact for everyone, Barker said.
“Our international doctoral students have a tremendously positive impact at U of T,” said Barker. “They bring new perspectives to research and are instrumental in building an international network that benefits our graduates beyond their time at the university. Our PhD graduates are employed in 97 countries around the world.”
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