After student petition, KU backs off doubling fee for international students

photo by: Associated Press

A bus passes in front of Strong Hall, Monday, Nov. 16, 2015 on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Days after a student-generated petition garnered nearly 2,500 signatures asking the University of Kansas to keep flat a required fee for international students that quietly doubled during a June meeting of the Kansas Board of Regents, KU Provost Barbara Bichelmeyer announced Friday afternoon that the fee increase would be rescinded.

The $160-per-semester fee was set to jump to $310 in the 2020-21 academic year, a move that upset many international students after KU had promised to keep all tuition and fees flat amid the financial struggles arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We realize the significant impact such an increase would have on our international students, and we recognize the lack of alignment of this action with our previous messaging about our intentions to keep any tuition and fee increase as low as possible for the coming year,” Bichelmeyer wrote in a campus message.

The petition had accused KU of “exploiting and alienating” international students by doubling their required fee — which doesn’t affect domestic students and was $40 as recently as 2012.

“We implore the University to treat us better and embody the values of Diversity and Inclusion that KU has proclaimed as paramount,” the petition said.

In the coming year, Bichelmeyer said KU’s Office of International Affairs would undergo a review of the fee structure and financial model associated with the office.

“I am appreciative of the students and advocates who reminded us of our guiding principles during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our aspiration to protect equity for members of our community as much as possible during this highly challenging time,” she said.

Related story

June 24 — KU international students upset after required fee quietly doubles

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