The University of Alberta Students’ Union warns that raising tuition and fees will impact students’ quality of life and access to education.

News Staff - Mon Mar 18, 2019

Edmonton, AB (March 18, 2019) - On March 15th, the University of Alberta Board of Governors voted to increase residence rent, mandatory fees, and international tuition rates. These changes will place a significant burden on the 4,000 students who live on residence and the 4,800 undergraduates who pay international tuition. Reed Larsen, President of the Students’ Union, was the only Board member to speak and vote against all the motions. “You can’t weatherproof a budget on the backs of students without affecting them,” said Larsen. “Paying an extra four hundred dollars can make all the difference to a student’s health, financial security, and chances of graduating.”

Due to a 5% rent adjustment and a 2.27% increase in meal plan rates, any student who lives in residence will need to pay, on average, an extra $400 per year. Andre Bourgeois, Vice President Student Life, was disappointed that the university couldn’t find efficiencies elsewhere. “I hope we see proportionate increases in the quality of student life and the student experience,” he said.

Meanwhile, a 2.77% increase to international tuition means that a typical international student in the Faculty of Science will pay an extra $600 per year. International students often face personal and financial challenges like language barriers, heavy fees, minimal social support structures, and lack of work opportunities. They are also twice as likely to skip meals three or more times per week due to the cost of food.

“Thousands of students are up against intersectional challenges,” said Akanksha Bhatnagar, Vice President Academic. “For a student who lives in residence, comes from another country, and has to deal with stress from so many directions already, this change is a multifaceted problem.”  

The Students’ Union is the official representative of more than 32,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta.

For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact:

University of Alberta Students’ Union

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