Atlantic Veterinary College hikes tuition on international students

Dave Stewart
Published on February 12, 2016

Gus MacDonald meets Tessa the ragdoll cat during the annual open house at the Atlantic Veterinary College in this Guardian file photo. Beginning this fall, tuition for some international students is going up 22 per cent.

©Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

It’s going to cost more for international students to enroll at the Atlantic Veterinary College this fall.

The UPEI board of governors has given the green light to a 22 per cent hike in tuition.

That means 21 incoming students this fall will pay approximately $47,000 U.S. for tuition. By comparison, the same education will cost a Canadian student $12,015.

“I have to be very clear that this increase is for incoming international students only. It doesn’t affect students who are currently already in the program in any way,’’ said Greg Keefe, dean of the Atlantic Veterinary College.

Keefe said it more closely aligns with costs associated with regional students, who are funded by tuition and by government grants.

“It also puts us still very much in the middle of the pack as far as cost of education for these students were they to go to one of the competitor institutions in the U.S.’’

The cost he refers to ranges between $42,000 and $62,000 U.S.

The college has 63 international students in its program each year. However, 42 of them are called regional students who are funded by provincial governments in Atlantic Canada and through their own tuition. The increase applies to the other 21 students, those who are responsible for all of their own tuition.

The Guardian, which was at the Atlantic Veterinary College on Friday for a separate announcement, asked a few students what they thought of the news.

The sentiment seems to be that while obviously no one wants to pay more, a veterinary education in Charlottetown is still cheaper than it is in many U.S. institutions, especially with weak dollar.

One student points out that it must be a sign that veterinary schools are struggling for revenue.

The UPEI Student Union seems to agree. It says students should not have to pay more to maintain programming.