Edmonton, Alberta – Today, students applauded the University of Alberta Board of Governors’ vote to rescind the tuition fee increases from March 2015. However, students were concerned at the uneven application of the relief, as the four motions rescinded tuition and market modifier increases only for domestic students, while leaving international students to pay the increased costs by themselves.
"I'm very pleased that the Board is following the Government's directions for Bill 3, and rescinding the previously approved tuition increases. This is really positive news for students come the fall term," said Navneet Khinda, Students’ Union President.
"However, it is disappointing that the spirit of Bill 3 was not fully carried out. International students will continue to pay for the 2% tuition increase as well as the market modifier tuition hikes in their programs, while we had been expecting all undergraduate students would benefit from the NDP Government’s tuition hike reversal."
Under the Provincial Government’s Tuition and Fees Regulation, International Students lack the same protections that their domestic peers have in terms of tuition and fee regulations, meaning that they may begin their program expecting to pay one amount only to see the university hike their tuition to unaffordable levels. This move by the university demonstrated yet again that—lacking governmental oversight—the university will continue to treat international students as ‘cash cows’ and treat these undergraduates as simply a source of revenue. All students, and especially those who are guests in Alberta, deserve to be treated fairly with predictable and affordable tuition rates.
“I hope the University of Alberta will consider the negative impact of this decision and ensure that the impacted international students will also receive increases in grants and bursaries so that they can continue their studies. I also call on the provincial government to go further than their predecessors and finally regulate international tuition so that students who leave their lives behind to study in Alberta will be treated fairly,” said Khinda.
For more information, please contact:
External Communications and Media Advisor
University of Alberta Students' Union