SU Responds to Minister’s StatementsNews Staff - Thu May 31, 2012
Comments from the new Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education on Market Modifiers, mandatory non-instructional fees and the relationship between the Province and university students have caught the attention of student leaders, coming as SU executives prepare for a summer of lobbying.
It appears that the Students’ Union’s lobbying is being heard loud and clear. Alberta’s Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education recently stated in question period that the previous imposition of Market Modifiers — massive tuition jumps in professional faculties — were a “one-time initiative” and he explained that there are currently “no plans to reintroduce Market Modifiers.” Previous attempts to reopen the debate by the U of A’s Faculty of Law without consulting the Students’ Union were also shut down by the province, and these recent comments deliver a clear message that the debate surrounding market modifiers has finally concluded.
As for non-instructional fees, which the UASU believes have been used by the University of Alberta as a backdoor method to raise tuition by going around the CPI cap, Minister Khan added, “students need to know that any new fees have to add value to their education.”
When asked about the possibility of massive student strikes occurring in Alberta that would mirror Quebec’s, Khan explained that he was looking forward to meeting with students to maintain an already “strong relationship.” UASU Vice President (External) Petros Kusmu echoed the minister, noting that he hoped to continue the positive relationship between the Students’ Union and the Ministry.
“We’re happy that Mr. Khan has used his first opportunity to address the Legislature to express his commitment to maintaining our relationship and hearing student concerns,” said Kusmu. “We’re also very encouraged by the position he has taken in regards to Market Modifiers, and look forward to discussing these issues further with him.”
Kusmu hopes to use the summer to engage with elected representatives and ensure the student voice is heard loudly.
“It’s a great opportunity now, to build rapport with MLAs and Ministers, get our name out there and start building on our lobbying priorities,” said Kusmu, noting that he will be expanding his lobbying role in his new position as CAUS vice chair.
The University of Alberta Students’ Union is a member of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS). CAUS will be lobbying against non-instructional fees being levied on students without proper consultation, pushing to reform the Election’s Act which has unfairly stifled the student vote, oppose municipal taxes on student dormitories, review rural grants and bursaries and stand against any new Market Modifier proposals.
For more information please contact:
External Communications and Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students' Union