Students concerned about overcrowding at CBU, which might be growing too fast
With hundreds more international students on their way to study at Cape Breton University this spring, some current students are concerned about overpopulation on campus.
Some already say services and their studies are being affected because there's more students than CBU can handle.
Twenty-eight-year-old P.K. Kaur is in her first year at Cape Breton University. The international student from India has found it challenging.
“The education level is so good, but they are not organized at all,” she said.
With nearly 1,000 new international students on campus this year, Kaur says buses are filled to capacity, the cafeteria is overcrowded, and class sizes have doubled.
“One of my professors, I can't give her name, she said ‘yes, it is quite difficult,’” Kaur said. “When the class size is small she used to do many activities and students learn from it, but not the class size increased, so she can't do more activities.”
At the Glace Bay food bank, they too are feeling the impact.
“Over the last few months we've been seeing a big increase in international students,” said Michelle Kalbhenn of the food bank. “They just don't have enough money to pay their rent and to eat, so they're coming here and relying on our food banks and places to eat, so they are able to survive like the rest of us.”
Back on campus, John Mayich, the director of student affairs, admits it has been a struggle accommodating so many international students, but says it's a good problem to have.
“The international students have allowed the transit system to improve, so it's creating a better system for the local residents in the area,” Mayich said.
Mayich says there is still room for more students to attend university here. In fact, hundreds more international students are expected to enroll in the spring.
“It's a little early to tell, but for our spring intake we are looking at another 700 students for spring,” Mayich said.
Mayich says students are given information about what to expect for housing and transportation before arriving. He says the university is not responsible for finding anyone employment.
“They are charging too much money from us, as you can see,” Kaur said.
According to the Cape Breton University website, they charge international students a differential fee of $7,800 which brings total fees for five undergraduate courses to $17,020.
By comparison, a Nova Scotian student will pay $7,480 and a Canadian student from outside Nova Scotia will pay $8,760.
While it's a time of growth for the university, some say it is coming with growing pains and they are the ones feeling the effects.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.