Student advocacy forces University to revise flawed tuition increase proposals

News Staff - Mon Jul 26, 2021

We are pleased to learn that the Ministry of Advanced Education has ordered the University of Alberta to retract its exceptional tuition increase proposals and consult students fairly in Fall 2021.

These proposals aim to raise undergraduate tuition for new students by 17-45% across several programs. Devastating cost increases can mean deeply unfavourable long term outlooks and force some students out of their studies and chosen faculties. Steep cost increases will contribute to ‘brain drain’ as students and recent graduates choose to leave Alberta. These are consequences that should concern everyone.

As the UASU has made clear, the University should not have forced these proposals through unreasonably short, often flawed consultation processes during Winter 2021 final exams. We stand in solidarity with the University of Calgary Students’ Union, where students face a comparable situation. We thank the Minister for recognizing the deficiencies of these extreme proposals.

“I hope the Minister holds the University’s work to very high standards going forward,” said UASU President Rowan Ley. “The quality of the consultations and the actual proposals varied widely. Some faculties clearly didn’t understand the assignment.”

The provincial government also needs to reconsider its strategy of severe budget cuts that disproportionately target the University of Alberta.

“We understand that the government has put serious financial pressure on the University,” said Christian Fotang, UASU Vice President External. “And we understand that faculties are feeling that pressure. But balancing the budget on the backs of students is proving to be a losing strategy for the University and for Alberta.”

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

Ari Campbell

External Relations Specialist

University of Alberta Students’ Union

The UASU is the official representative of more than 34,000 undergraduate students at the University of Alberta. It advocates for students’ needs and priorities to the University of Alberta and at all levels of government.

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