Happy holidays Students: The Government of Alberta approves wide-reaching tuition hikes while students on term break

News Staff - Wed Jan 07, 2015

(Edmonton, AB) – Students have returned to campus this week to learn that on Monday, December 22nd, the Government of Alberta announced the approval of tuition increases for 25 programs across the province at rates vastly exceeding inflation. By the Government’s estimation, 8% of Campus Alberta students will be affected by the hikes.

“The government certainly has tough choices to make, but taking $21 million out of students’ pockets is not the way to do it. The current crisis around the price of oil clearly shows that Alberta needs to diversify its economy, and it can start by investing in education, not by pricing students out,” said Navneet Khinda, SU Vice President External.

Though each post-secondary institution was asked to submit a maximum of three “market modifier” proposals, the University of Alberta submitted five proposals and all five were approved. Pending the approval of the Board of Governors, students enrolled in Economics courses, the Faculty of Law, Pharmacy, the Masters of Business Administration program, and Rehab Medicine will be facing a tuition increase.

These tuition hikes are occurring despite previous promises from the government to the contrary. The last time the provincial government approved “market modifier” tuition hikes, they referred to them as “one-time” increases. The province had previously created a tuition cap, which tied tuition increases to inflation.

Earlier in December, the University of Alberta Board of Governors had approved a 2.2% increase across the board for all students in 2015-2016. This increase falls in line with the tuition cap, since it rises by the Consumer Price Index, a rate of inflation. Nevertheless, when combined with the recently announced higher tuition hikes in certain programs and the continued imposition of “temporary” mandatory fees such as the CoSSS fee, along with the very likely possibility of further budget cuts, students will be facing drastic cost pressures while institutions could be getting less government support.

“Repeatedly, the Government of Alberta has broken their promises regarding post-secondary education,” said Khinda. “The rising costs of post-secondary education will place additional pressure on students and families. These market modifiers will impact over 20,000 current students in Alberta, and could discourage future students from considering these programs.”

Alberta has the lowest post-secondary participation rate in the country, with just under 17% of the population aged 17-35 accessing some form of post-secondary education. Additionally, Alberta has one of the highest costs of education in Canada, when factoring in the costs of tuition and mandatory student fees.

Details of impacted U of A programs

  1. Bachelor of Arts, Economics – Current tuition of $5,320.80/year will increase by 8% to $5770.80/year once it is fully implemented by 2018-2019.
  2. Bachelor of Science, Pharmacy – Current tuition of $9,987/year will increase by 14% to $11,387/year once fully implemented by 2017-2018.
  3. Juris Doctor (law) – Current tuition of $10,221/year will increase by 56% to $15,995/year once fully implemented by 2017-2018.
  4. Master of Business Administration – Current tuition of $24,439.20/year will increase by 42% to $34,712.21 once fully implemented by 2018-2019
  5. Master of Science, Physical Therapy – Current tuition of $18,489.60 will increase by 8% to $19,971.84 once fully implemented by 2016-2017.

News articles

  • Metro: “Five University of Alberta programs approved by government for tuition increases”.
  • Calgary Herald: “If you see a student, give them a hug. The province just approved tuition hikes in 25 programs.”
  • Edmonton Journal: “Province approves U of A tuition hikes”.
  • CBC: “Alberta students face tuition spike for some post-secondary degrees”.

For more information, please contact:
Simon Yackulic
External Communications & Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students’ Union
P: 780.492.4236

Get involved!

Are you a concerned student, interested in fighting the tuition hikes? Email Vice President External Navneet Khinda to get involved!

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