COVID-19 may value Canadian universities tens of millions, even billions: Statistics Canada

Vicky Fragasso-Marquis, The Canadian Press

Printed Sunday, October 11, 2020 four:10PM EDT

MONTREAL – Canadian universities may lose as a lot as $three.four billion this 12 months as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada has projected, largely attributable to a lower within the variety of international college students.

In a report revealed this week, Statistics Canada tried to estimate college finances losses for the 2020-2021 faculty 12 months.

Tuition charges make up an more and more massive portion of college revenues, the company stated. In 2013-2014, tuition charges accounted for 24.7 per cent of faculty funding, whereas they made up 29.four per cent in 2018-2019.

The biggest portion of college income comes from authorities funding, at 45.eight per cent.

Statistics Canada stated the rise within the proportion of tuition charges was brought on by a rising variety of international college students, who pay larger tuition – virtually 5 occasions as a lot as Canadian residents.

In 2017-2018, international college students alone paid about 40 per cent of all tuition charges.

Due to this fact, Statistics Canada stated, universities may lose between $377 million and $three.four billion – zero.eight per cent to 7.5 per cent of their whole revenues – this tutorial 12 months.

The company primarily based its projection on the variety of research permits issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which corresponds to the variety of international college students within the nation.

In 2020, 58 per cent fewer permits have been issued and about 13 per cent of people who have been issued have been not legitimate in September.

The company stated Canadian pupil registration numbers may additionally drop this 12 months.

It discovered 20 per cent of 17- to 24-year-olds who have been in class final March stated they didn’t plan to return this 12 months.

Wendy Therrien, exterior relations and analysis director at Universities Canada, stated it is too quickly to inform whether or not the pandemic will affect college budgets or registration.

She stated, nonetheless, that the federal authorities’s Canada Emergency Response Profit (CERB) helped college students and their households have the means and confidence to return to high school this 12 months.

Universities are additionally adapting to pandemic-related journey restrictions and have allowed international college students to proceed their research remotely, she stated.

“That helps us retain these college students,” Therrien stated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 11, 2020.