Sara Hosseinirad VP External
This has been an advocacy priority for my Office over the last few months. The change to the MSP, which eliminates fees for Permanent Residents and Citizens came into force at the start of this year, but the same changes increased the fee for international students to $75 per month. This is a significant additional financial burden for international students, particularly for those with dependents.
The GSS were also extremely concerned about the decision to increase health care coverage fees for international students, without meaningful consultation with student associations, advocacy groups, or international students themselves.
We’ve been working with ABCS and student groups across the Province to create the open letter and to make these concerns clear to Provincial Government. We hope that the Province take notice of the strength of feeling, but even if this does not lead to immediate change, we will continue to fight for a policy that is fair to international students.
We’re delighted to join more than 180,000 students from 10 student associations across the province as signatories of an open letter to The Honourable Adrian Dix, Minister of Health regarding increased MSP fees impacting international students.
You can read the full letter here: bcstudents.ca/news but the key recommendation is that the BC Government: “commit to fairness on our campuses and either revert the changes made to international student contributions to the Medical Services Plan, or eliminate international student contributions to the Medical Services Plan altogether”. We’re very grateful to the Alliance of BC Students for coordinating the response.