Are overseas students covering our shortfalls?

Dear Editor,

I read with some interest an article one of the Vancouver papers about the importance of overseas students to the post-secondary system. One of the points the article made was that last year ending to B.C. post-secondary institutions declined about 18 per cent of the 2002 amount. The point is that the overseas students pay seven times more than domestic students and they were expected to make up the shortfall through their tuition. My understanding is that North West Community College has a number of students attending who are from overseas. In thinking about these students I was wondering:

If they have outerwear suitable for our colder climate?

If their accommodation has gathering places where they can meet to discuss their progress and support each other?

If there are activities planed so that they are able to fully experience life in Terrace?

If there are tutors available to help them with English and their course work?

If the cafeteria hours accommodate any late field trips or late classes they might have?

If they have an area where snacks can be prepared when the cafeteria is closed?

There are probably many more questions that I could raise but the money invested in overseas students both my the college and their parents is considerable. It is immigrant to us all that overseas students have a very full, rich experience in Terrace and that they return home spreading positive comments to others about their adventure. I trust that the college board and administration are closely monitoring these students and ensuring that their experience is a positive one. After all, we do not want to be accused of exploiting overseas students to make up our shortfalls.

Sincerely,

Ed Harrison

Terrace, B.C.

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