No room at UFV for more international students

Without more B.C. government funding, UFV won’t be able to increase its international student enrolment, part of the job creation plan unveiled by Premier Christy Clark last week.

Without more B.C. government funding, UFV won’t be able to increase its international student enrolment, part of the job creation plan unveiled by Premier Christy Clark last week.

“We’re very pleased the premier recognizes the value international students bring to B.C.,” UFV’s vice-president academic Eric Davis said.

But last year UFV’s total student population exceeded funding – less than 50 per cent of which comes from the government -– by four per cent.

And it’s been that way for more than a decade.

“We don’t have room to grow international student (numbers),” Davis said. “Our buildings and classrooms are full, we’ve run out of space.”

Ironically, it’s the tuition paid by international students at UFV – more than twice that paid by domestic students – that opens up classroom spaces for local students.

Davis suggested UFV has a “very strong case” for more government funding because it serves “the fastest growing region” in B.C.

The physical capacity of B.C.’s universities to handle the 50 per cent increase in international students over the next four years is also a concern of the B.C. Research Universities’ Council.

B.C.’s current international student population of 94,000 – 850 of whom are enrolled at UFV – has led to the creation of 22,000 jobs and contributed $1.25 billion to the B.C. economy, according to a government news release.

Each 10 per cent increase in international students equals 1,800 new jobs and a $100-million boost to the provincial Gross Domestic Product.

Earlier this year, UFV president Mark Evered told the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce that each international student, most of whom attend classes at the Abbotsford campus, spends about $40,000 a year – $13,000 on tuition and the rest on accommodation, food, clothing, cars and family visits.

“Let’s be frank, these are not poor students,” he said.

Davis said UFV’s mandate is to serve local needs first, so no domestic students are displaced by international students.

“They bring a huge kick to the economy,” he agreed, and enhance the learning experience at UFV.

“We want our students to be global citizens,” he said. “If they don’t go abroad, we’ll bring the abroad to them.”

Many international students remain in B.C., he added, and start up their own businesses, which creates jobs and boosts immigration numbers needed as the “boomer” generation retires.

The premier’s “Canada Starts Here” job plan focuses on B.C.’s proximity to expanding markets in China and India, increasing capacity of provincial ports and decreasing the time it takes businesses wanting to invest in natural resource development.

It also includes a $3-million boost to the $30-million small business venture capital tax credit to attract new investors, and extending a $31-million apprenticeship tax credit program for another three years to give employers more time to hire and train skilled workers.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Glow Abbotsford opens its doors

Indoor Christmas festival taking over Tradex for December

Widespread concerns spur UFV to halt international enrolment growth

New target hopes to limit international students to 20% of all enrolment to give time to ‘catch up’

Abbotsford man was ‘unintended victim’ of 2018 fatal shooting, police say

Jagvir Malhi, 19, was gunned down while on his way to university

UFV & other B.C. universities post $340 million worth of surpluses thanks to international student tuition

Students call for spending as international enrolment produces huge surpluses at many universities

2019 Christmas light displays in Abbotsford and Mission

Local homes are aglow for the holidays

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Braille signs coming to TransLink bus stops in 2020

Transit authority says it’s the first to do so in Canada and the United States

CUPE issues 72-hour strike notice for SkyTrain

Local 7000 release states ‘parties are still bargaining’, union will have job action plan by Saturday

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

Most Read