Canadian universities could lose as much as $3.4 billion this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Statistics Canada has projected, in large part due to a decrease in the number of foreign students.
In a report published this week, Statistics Canada tried to estimate university budget losses for the 2020-2021 school year.
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Tuition fees make up an increasingly large portion of university revenues, the agency said. In 2013-2014, tuition fees accounted for 24.7 per cent of school funding, while they made up 29.4 per cent in 2018-2019.
The largest portion of university revenue comes from government funding, at 45.8 per cent.
Statistics Canada said the increase in the proportion of tuition fees was caused by a growing number of foreign students, who pay higher tuition — almost five times as much as Canadian citizens.
In 2017-2018, foreign students alone paid about 40 per cent of all tuition fees.