Open letter to Dalton McGuinty

I wrote this letter to Dalton McGuinty, because I did some math and got real sad. We’ll see if he writes back, but don’t hold your breath, because I can’t vote. Understandably, there’s not much point in writing back to a non-constituent. If he does, rest assured I’ll share it with you, cuddly readers!

Dear Premier McGuinty,

As you are likely aware, tuition and fees for international students
enrolled in the study of humanities at Carleton University have increased by $1,025.94 in the past two years, while funding through Teaching Assistant scholarships has increased only $105.51 over the same two year period.

I am now entering my third year of graduate studies in the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. I work as a Teaching Assistant for Canadian history and as a Research Assistant on a project funded by the Social Science and Humanities Council of Canada to investigate pre-Confederation Canadian visual culture. Despite my efforts, the expenses of being an international student in Ontario get more difficult to offset due to continual tuition increases.

My question for you and your office is: How will you ensure that Ontario remains a competitive and appealing choice for international students next year and further in the future? Despite my strong commitment to scholarship in the field of Canadian Studies, and despite Carleton’s proximity to research facilities that make it an ideal location for me to pursue my studies, I have strong reservations about recommending Carleton to other international candidates. I also have very real concerns about the possibility of continuing my research at Carleton due to the disparity between funding options and tuition increases.

Although we are not allowed to vote in provincial elections, international students are an asset to Ontario schools. As teachers, researchers, and learners, we help to foster international scholarly dialogues on campus and multi-national collaborative projects in our future careers. Furthermore, our perspectives enhance the learning experience for our students, colleagues, and professors (based on a vast supply of informal feedback I have received).

I enjoy attending Carleton, living in Ontario, researching Canadian visual culture, and teaching Canadian history. Most of all, I enjoy studying Canadian Studies. Can your office ensure that the opportunity I am trying to pursue will be open to future international students by more carefully regulating the increases to international student tuition? Can you help me to achieve my dream of a doctoral degree in Canadian Studies by showing respect for my work and the work of my peers through increased funding for secondary education to offset tuition increases?

Thank you for your time and I do hope you consider my questions.

Sincerely,

Amanda Murphyao

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