Did NPR just suggest using Canadian universities as “safety schools?”

Yes, yes, that did just happen.

Normally I don’t like to blog current events. Typically, I line up topics far in advance and schedule them for months from now, so it’s like a surprise to me every time I re-read my posts once they’re live.

But this one just seemed to write itself this morning, when I heard a commentator on NPR talking about the expense of colleges and universities in the United States and mention that her daughter has a Canadian schools as her “safety school,” much to the delight (or perhaps chagrin) of the commentator’s Canadian husband.

If you are an international or “foreign” student considering going to school in Canada, I  have two things for you to consider (here, today – there are loads of other factors, but it seems rather illuminating to put these two side by side).

The first is from CBC (but you can find the same information in the National Post and the Globe and Mail), and the second is from CUPE 4600, the teaching assistant union at Carleton University.

First of all, “Canada wants to double its international student body:”

The International Education Strategy aims to double the number of international students and researchers — to 450,000 — in Canada by 2022 in an effort to create jobs and stimulate the domestic economy.

Canadian full-time undergraduate students pay an average of $5,700 in tuition every year. International students, meanwhile, can pay three times that amount — or an average of $19,500 every year.

The government estimates that recruiting more international students could generate some 86,000 new jobs in Canada and add an additional $10 billion to the domestic economy each year.

Secondly, “Carleton University Attempts to Withhold Teaching Assistant Tuition Rebate:”

Tuition rebate amounts vary depending on when you began employment at Carleton, but it is not an insignificant amount of money, especially at this time of year. In particular, due to large yearly increases in the international student tuition rate, international student TAs could have more that $1000.00 withheld by the employer.

Prices may vary depending on the province you choose for your schooling, and a slew of other factors, but I’m just telling you what’s up righthisecond for international graduate students at Carleton University, and how Canada is apparently laughing all the way to the bank (an inversion of history?).

Also, the phrase “safety school” always makes me think of a weird mash up of traffic school and the safety dance, which turns out to have a really bizarre music video:

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