At a University of Calgary Town Hall yesterday, the Administration indicated that they had future plans to seek “targeted increases in some programs” — otherwise known as Market Modifiers, substantial tuition increases in certain faculties. At the University of Alberta, the President has told students that all options are still on the table.
The last time that Market Modifiers were approved, some faculties at the U of A saw tuition rise by over 66%, in coordination with similar tuition hikes at multiple public provincial institutions.
The Provincial Government has promised students that tuition will not be raised. We expect that this means that the current tuition cap will remain in place and that tuition will only rise by inflation. This system allows Albertan families to have clear and predictable targets when saving for post-secondary education. Students at the U of A already pay some of the highest university tuition and fees in Canada, which helps to explain why Alberta also has the lowest post-secondary participation rate in the country.
The Government of Alberta has repeatedly told Albertans that the past massive tuition hikes in the form of Market Modifiers will not happen again, referring to the past Market Modifiers as a one-time proposal. As these Market Modifiers have already “modified” program tuition fees in certain faculties, students expect that already high tuition in these faculties will not see further increases.
With the faculty/student ratio getting worse at our institutions, higher Market Modifiers no longer make sense — especially considering that the Administration has failed to show that past fee increases have been related to any sort of educational quality improvement for students.
The Students’ Union believes that Alberta’s education system must allow any qualified Albertan to receive an education, and is worried that an inappropriate response to budget difficulties could seriously impair the province’s future.
For more information, please contact:
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union