York University Becoming More Dependent on International Students Every Year

York University Becoming More Dependent on International Students Every Year

Changes made by Doug Ford to higher education in the coming academic year will have a significant impact on international students attending or planning to attend Ontario universities.

For example, due to the ten per cent tuition decrease for domestic students that is going to be implemented this year, most Ontario schools could very well seek to enrol more international students and increase their tuition to offset the anticipated loss in revenue.

Due to the significant changes that are likely to take place, we carried out an analysis of the environment of international students regarding tuition and enrolment trends over the last 12 years at York University.

This report is aimed at assisting students in understanding the trends that have been taking place in regards to international and domestic tuition and enrolment and what they can expect with the implementation of these changes this coming year.

In summary, our findings show that York University has been relying heavily on international students over the years and this is likely to continue over time.

*When a year is stated, it is the beginning of that academic year. (ie. 2006 refers to the 2006-2007 academic year)

*Data was collected mainly from CUDO (Common University Data Ontario) by the Council of Ontario Universities, school documents such as tuition fee schedules and school-specific CUDO data.

*Tuition fee data was based on the tuition cost for an average undergraduate arts and science full-time degree as this is the metric CUDO uses as a common metric among all Ontario universities.

*The tuition fees stated below refer to the tuition cost for the first-year of studies.

York University Tuition Fees

International Tuition Increased by 4.2 Times More Than Domestic Tuition and 3.1 Times More Than Inflation

International tuition increased four times faster than domestic tuition increase at York University in 2011-2017.

There was a drastic difference between the international tuition increase rate and the domestic tuition increase rate, and inflation from 2006-2017.

The average tuition for a domestic undergraduate and science degree at York University increased from $6,197 in 2011 (in 2017 dollars) to $6,600 in 2017 which represents only a slight 6.50 per cent increase.

Meanwhile, the international tuition cost for the same degree increased from $18,618 in 2011 (in 2017 dollars) to $23,664 in 2017 representing a 27.10 per cent increase.

York University has increased international tuition fees at a much higher rate compared to domestic tuition in an effort to maximize revenue from international students over the years.

International Tuition Increased by 13 Times More Than Domestic Tuition Each Year

International tuition costs went up more than $1,300 at York, compared to $103 in domestic tuition.

Every year, in terms of dollars, there has been an increase in international tuition that was 13 times more than domestic tuition, on average. 

From 2011 to 2017, the average annual domestic tuition increase was only $103 while the average annual international tuition increase was $1,341. 

In terms of dollars, this essentially means that international tuition increased by 13 times more than domestic tuition each year, on average.

The International Tuition Increase Rate Has Greatly Outpaced the Domestic Tuition Rate Each Year

Comparing consecutive years, York consistently focused its efforts in increasing international tuition fees far more than domestic tuition.

Data for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 was unavailable.

Although tuition data for every year was unavailable, a trend can still be seen.

The rate of increase in international tuition in the 2016-2017 academic year was 6.1 times more compared to the rate of growth in domestic tuition.

Looking at the annual rate of increase in international tuition compared to domestic tuition, it is evident that there has been an increased reliance on international students over domestic students for revenue.

*International Student Fees NOTE:

One important thing to note is that the fees being used to calculate international fees do not include ancillary fees, UHIP, Ontario’s International Recovery Fee, etc.

Although ancillary fees are typically equal for both domestic and international students, extra fees such as UHIP and Ontario’s International Recovery Fee could add an additional $1000-$2000 to an international student’s yearly fees.

Which would further widen the gap between total international and domestic fees.

*Enrolment data is in regard to full time and part time students in all levels of degrees inclusive of Bachelor’s and 1st Professional Degrees, Master’s Degrees and Doctoral Degrees. 

York University Enrolment

International Enrolment Increased By 174 Per Cent While Domestic Enrolment Actually Decreased by 5 Per Cent from 2006 to 2017

The number of enroled international York students almost tripled, while the number of domestic students remained stagnant.

The rate of international enrolment increased significantly while the rate of domestic enrolment significantly decreased from 2006 to 2017.

International enrolment at York University has grown from 2675 in 2006 to 7321 in 2017, representing a 174 per cent increase.

On the other hand, the enrolment of domestic students reduced from 47,381 in 2006 to 44,965 in 2017 which represents a 5.1 per cent decrease, showing York University’s distinct focus on growing international enrolment over domestic enrolment.

York University Student Enrolment Breakdown

In 2017, there were over 2.5x more international students in York University than there were in 2006.

There has been a steady increase in international student enrolment each year.
The number of enroled domestic York students has remained stagnant over the years.

Overall, the enrolment of domestic students has been reducing year after year.

When the enrolment of domestic students and international students are broken down, there is a stark difference between the two groups of students where one is increasing while the other is decreasing.

While international enrolment has been increasing steadily every year, domestic enrolment displayed an overall decreasing trend.

Looking at the enrolment figures from 2006 to 2017, it is evident that York University has been increasingly shifting focus to international students over the years.

On Average, International Enrolment Increased by 9.73 Per Cent Annually While Domestic Enrolment Decreased by 0.46 Per Cent

Each year, York has accepted about ten per cent more international students, while the number of enroled domestic students decreased 0.50 per cent yearly.

On average, international enrolment has significantly increased each year while domestic enrolment has decreased.

The differences in enrolment between the two student groups can be seen further when looking at the average annual enrolment changes each year.

While international student enrolment increased by 9.73 per cent every year on average, domestic enrolment actually decreased by 0.46 per cent each year on average.

In 2007-2017, York has focused on increasing the number of international students, rather than domestic students.

International enrolment grew at rates drastically higher than domestic enrolment year after year.

Looking at enrolment changes from year to year, it is evident that York University has paid more attention to the population of international students than domestic students.

From 2009, the enrolment of international students significantly outpaced the enrolment of domestic students, with domestic enrolment actually decreasing from 2010 to 2016 while international enrolment has been steadily increasing.

The Proportion of International Students Enrolment at York University Has Tripled From 2006 To 2017

The proportion of international students at York University has been above the Ontario average since 2010, and the ratio hasn't stopped increasing since then.

York University’s student population is composed of much more international students in 2017 compared to 2006.

From 5.65 per cent in 2006 to 16.28 in 2017, York University has been increasingly relying on international students, resulting in the proportion of international students tripling in 12 years, and outpacing the Ontario average from 2010 and on.

Through much higher yearly increases in the enrolment of international students and higher tuition costs for these students compared to domestic students, it is clear that York University has been increasingly relying on international students as a major source of tuition revenue.

With the increase in demand for Ontario education among international students due to the quality and accessibility of our schools, and a cheap Canadian dollar compared to competing countries, York University and other Ontario schools are taking advantage of this situation by increasing international tuition fees much faster than its domestic counterparts.

The implementation of Ford’s changes such as the ten per cent tuition decrease for domestic students and a resulting increase in international tuition and enrolment is something worth noting for current and potential international students at York University.


*Ancillary fees, Incidental fees, UHIP, Ontario’s International Recovery fee, and any other fees were excluded from calculations; only tuition fees were included.

*Enrolment data was collected from CUDO by the Council of Ontario Universities.

*See here for a similar analysis but on Ontario as a whole: 
Ontario Universities’ Increasing Reliance on International Students


York University CUDO Data

CUDO Tool by the Council of Ontario Universities

CUDO Archives


Ontario Universities’ Increasing Reliance on International Students

Students Say Ford’s Performance-Based Funding is Misguided

Queen’s University by the Numbers: An Intuitive Financial Analysis For Students

Should Higher-Ed Admissions Be Federally Regulated?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.