Board of Governors
Douglas College

Right now, students at Douglas College, throughout the province, and across the country are facing a challenge that is affecting every aspect of their lives. COVID-19 has altered the dynamics of students’ lives as studies have transitioned online, the opportunities for employment have evaporated, and their lives as they know it have been put on hold.

Throughout the pandemic, students have struggled with the anxiety of a quick transition to remote learning and financial challenges of lost work and minimal financial supports. For domestic students that qualify, they have been able to access Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) or EI to cover the bare minimum of living expenses.

For international students, most have faced extreme challenges as they have been left out of provincial and federal programs designed to aid people across the country. While some do qualify for EI, most do not and are left with very minimal financial support and continued living and academic expenses. We have heard, and continue to hear, from international students that they are struggling to pay for food, their bills, and their tuition. They have lost their opportunities for employment, can not access the majority of aid offered through our government, and have families back home unable to help because they are also suffering financially through this global crisis.

In January of this year, the Douglas Students’ Union made several recommendations to the Douglas College Budget that were aimed at improving the lives of students at Douglas College. The Douglas Students’ Union recommended that the tuition fee freeze for international students be extended until 2021. At this time, now more than ever, we implore you to reconsider the 3.5% international tuition fee increase planned for the fall semester and extend the fee freeze until 2021. We also urge you to freeze domestic tuition fee increase planned for the fall semester.

We know that life will eventually return to normal. But we are in an unprecedented situation like no other and during this time of ongoing uncertainty, freezing tuition fees will create more stability for all students at Douglas College. This stability will provide some degree of financial security, ease their anxiety and support better academic success.

Therefore, we, the Douglas Students’ Union Board of Directors, call on the Douglas College Board of Governors to help domestic and international students by freezing tuition for the fall 2020 semester.

Douglas Students’ Union Board of Directors