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International PhD Students to Receive Free Tuition in Ontario

Written by Bailey Moreton
free tuition for international students

Brock University has announced that it plans to pay FULL tuition for international students who are studying for a PhD.

The university in St. Catharine’s had already lowered costs by paying everything but the last $3,500 of tuition for international students. But now they have extended the support.

This comes after University of Toronto made a similar announcement. International PhD students will now pay domestic fees for the duration of their studies.

Domestic students at Brock were already having their fees fully paid for. And according to Dr. James Mandingo, vice provost of international enrolment at Brock University, this new funding will help close the gap between the two groups.

Why This is Happening.

These measures come in the wake of changes to the funding which post-secondary institutions receive for their post-doctoral programs.

Ontario told universities in a letter that they could use 10 percent of the grants they each receive for domestic graduate students to cover the costs of enrolling more international students.

Research-intensive universities, such as McMaster and the University of Toronto, can use 15 percent.

Why is Brock University Doing This?

“We want to attract the best minds to Brock, to enhance the research we do here and make Niagara region central to the knowledge economy,” said Mandingo.

Mandingo notes the potential boost to the local economy surrounding Brock. However international students also have the potential to contribute to Canada as a whole.

“We have a skill shortage in certain areas and we need to look at our immigration policy,” Mandingo said. “This is a way we can attract the best and the brightest minds to Canada. Some will choose to stay and contribute to the local economy. Or will go back to their own countries and become leaders and ambassadors there.”


With the tough stances on immigration strongly voiced by the president of the United States, there’s potential for Canada and its post secondary institutions to become hotspots for international students seeking a high level education.

Dr. Mandingo though is not convinced.

“I think we’re seeing an increase in international applications not only to Brock but Canada. In Ontario, the applications have been growing over the past few years, so it’s not a new trend.”

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.