Earlier this year, the University of Toronto announced that as of autumn 2018, most international PhD students will pay tuition fees equivalent to their domestic counterparts. Western University made a similar move in early March while Brock University in Ontario announced that it will fully cover tuition fees for international PhD students.
“As of September 1, 2018, international PhD candidates at uOttawa will pay tuition fees at the same rate as those paid by Canadian PhD candidates.”
“The University wants to ensure that all international PhD candidates attending uOttawa can complete their studies at a lower cost and benefit from the University’s facilities and its excellence in research and teaching,” it continued.
According to its website, the tuition fees for a full-time PhD in Arts is stated as CA$5,444.72, whereas Canadian citizens are charged CA$2,357.99.
A reduction of fees goes beyond monetary terms – it also symbolises how welcoming a country is towards international students. In an editorial in Canada’s most widely read newspaper The Globe and Mail, it was argued that the “symbolism” of UofT’s move was important:
“It says to the world’s best and brightest that the top research university in Canada’s biggest city wants them here – and not just because of the gilded fees they pay.”
The newspaper noted that while most PhD students don’t pay tuition out of pocket for the first four years of their degree, so the benefit would likely only start accuring in fifth year, “a savings of CA$15,000 can be a big deal for a young scholar from Iran or Bangladesh.”
While UoT has nearly double the intake of international PhD candidates compared to uOttawa, hundreds will still benefit from this move. Currently, close to 500 international PhD candidates, both Anglophone and Francophone, enrolled at uOttawa.