A common theme throughout my campaign is affordability. And as we established, international students face unique challenges with their unpredictable and unregulated tuition. This means that students have to heavily rely on supports in order to continue their studies. However, there are not many. For example, International students cannot apply for student loans and are limited in the number of hours they can work per week.
The consequence is that they are forced to drastically cut their budget or hope to receive the two additional forms of support that are available to them. The first is scholarships. However, the academic barriers for scholarships are often very high and thereby, they are not a guarantee. Especially when a student's grades suffer by having to take on extra shifts at work to cover expenses.
The second support is bursaries. This funding can be extremely beneficial for students who are in need. One reason for this is because their tuition can increase multiple times throughout their degree. Unfortunately, a student only has the guarantee of receiving a bursary once. It is possible for them to receive a second bursary but it is unlikely. So, they end up losing this crucial lifeline.
While our end goal is for education to be affordable, we must make sure that lifelines, such as bursaries, are continuously accessible for international students.
We will advocate for the university to immediately remove the cap on bursaries and allow international students to apply whenever they experience a budget shortfall.