International doctoral student funding: Quick survey and award restriction info

Concerns about unexpected funding reductions for international PhD students

man in small study booth wearing white top using macbook, hand ruffling hair as if stressed or deep in thought Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

OrganizeUW's international student sub-committee recently learned that some international graduate students have been facing significant and unexpected reductions to their doctoral funding packages in their fourth year, due to fine print, unclear offer letters, and apparent departmental funding shortfalls.

Of particular concern are “fine print” restrictions around the International Student Doctoral Award (IDSA) program, which are not mentioned in students’ offer letters and are now being applied by departments in ways that seem to contradict clear wording about funding amounts promised in students’ offers letters, the award description linked to above, or both. We encourage international grad students who receive the IDSA to review the information above, so that you can check into whether such reductions may apply to you later in your program.

Please also take a moment to answer our 3-5 minute survey about this issue, so we can gauge the extent of the problem and advocate on behalf of international graduate students at UW to resolve this situation.

In addition to informing our advocacy, if you need help with this current situation specifically, you can voluntarily choose to enter your name/email on the last page of the survey. We will contact you to see if we can help resolve this issue somehow in the context of our collective work on behalf of students.

Your responses will be important for us to make sure UWaterloo is providing all funding that was contractually promised to international grad students; by working together we have a better chance of making change and improving things for everyone, even before we finish the process to certify our new union local at UW.

In solidarity,

International Student Sub-Committee
Committee to OrganizeUW


P.S. Don't forget to check out our International Student Discussion on Unionization webinar, where international grad student organizers and guests discuss concrete ways our future union can help improve our situation at UW. We also have a series of four very short blog posts that give background on some issues we've been facing as international grads at UW.

Committee to Organize uWaterloo
Committee to Organize uWaterloo
supported by CUPE

The Committee to Organize uWaterloo is a grassroots campaign to unionize the academic workers at the University of Waterloo. The campaign is supported by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Canada's largest union.

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