Posted on Apr 13, 2021
MASSIVE TUITION HIKES CAUSED BY UCP BUDGET CUTS COULD SEE STUDENTS PAYING 104 PER CENT MORE PER YEAR
EDMONTON – After Jason Kenney attacked Alberta students through massive cuts to post-secondary in the last two budgets, the UCP are going after students pocket books again by allowing tuition increases up to 104 per cent at the University of Alberta.
Graduate and Undergraduate programs at the U of A are seeing tuition increases ranging from 17 per cent to 104 per cent across fields such as Law, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Engineering, Business, Counselling Psychology and Radiation Therapy.
“It would be wildly irresponsible for Jason Kenney to allow for these tuition hikes to go through while we deal with a massive economic downturn due to COVID-19,” said NDP Critic for Advanced Education David Eggen. “Access to post-secondary is a key to our economic recovery and the UCP fueled this tuition hike with their constant and decimating budget cuts to Alberta’s Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics.”
Andrew Batycki, a third-year engineering student at the U of A worries what this could mean for the accessibility of his program for future students and how it could deteriorate his program for the remainder of his study.
“If tuition was this expensive when I started school I couldn’t have attended the U of A at all,” said Batycki.
Anita Cardinal-Stewart is a second-year law student at the U of A, and the President for the National Indigenous Law Students’ Association. With the law program at the University of Alberta seeing an increase in tuition of $5,265.72 to bring the annual tuition to $16,967.33, she didn’t have the option to look outside the province for advancing her education and worries that this significant increase could mean more barriers for Indigenous students.
“We need to create space in post-secondary for Indigenous students, and a tuition hike this significant is adding even more barriers in their path. Some can barely afford to go to law school and not everyone has the option to shop around and move out of province or even out of the city for school,” said Cardinal-Stewart.
According to the U of A, the proposed tuition increase will help address issues that post-secondary schools across the province are facing, because of the $690 million cut by the UCP in direct financial support to post-secondary institutions.
“We have seen the most damaging cuts in Alberta’s history enacted on our Universities, Colleges, and Polytechnics by the UCP. We know that the far reaching implications of these cuts have not only meant thousands of job losses, students struggling with increasing costs and debt load but damage to the institutions and our economy,” said Eggen. “Jason Kenney is making it harder to be a student in Alberta year after year, and doesn’t have a plan for jobs after students graduate either. He’s failing Albertans at every stage.”
The per-year increases to tuition at the U of A would come into force for new domestic students in September 2022.