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New students at University of Calgary expected to pay thousands more amid tuition hikes

Prospective students hoping to attend the University of Calgary this fall can expend to spend thousands of dollars more as several programs will see large tuition increases.

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides approved “exceptional increases” to the engineering, medical doctor (MD) and the master of business administration (MBA) programs at the university.

Alberta post-secondary institutions are able to increase their tuition, but anything considered a “large increase” must be approved by the minister.

“The BSc engineering program will increase by $2,085, the MD program will increase by $2,781, and the MBA program will increase by $4,776,” said Nicolaides in a statement to CTV News Friday.

“It is important to note that the cost of tuition for the BSc Engineering and MBA programs at the U of C remain below the national average for their respective programs, and the MD program aligns with the national average.”

The recent approval means that tuition will increase 32 per cent for new domestic engineering students, while tuition for the MBA program will shoot up by 25 per cent and medical students will experience a 15 per cent hike.

Tuition increases will only apply to new domestic students entering these programs for the upcoming 2022-23 academic year.

Nicolaides says the approval is in place for four main reasons.

“Firstly, all current students are grandfathered at the old rates, secondly the new revenue will go directly to improving the quality of the programs, thirdly because a portion of the new revenue will go to create new scholarships and bursaries for students in those programs and fourthly because student leaders were adequately consulted in the process.”

But an “adequate consultation” is not what Nicole Schmidt would describe in her recent conversations with the UCP government.

The president of the U of C student’s union says this will negatively affect prospective students and further hinder them financially for years to come as tuition has already increased 25 per cent across the board at the university.

“I would ask anyone what a 25 per cent increase in duty on your mortgage would do to your household budget month-to-month because that’s essentially what students are going through right now,” said Schmidt.

“The UCP government has also increased the student loan interest rate, and they haven't given students a comparable replacement to the Summer Temporary Employment Program. So really, students are expected to pay more for their tuition and they're getting less financial support from the government, which is incredibly concerning.”

Schmidt adds that the student’s union had been fighting the increases and hoping to delay them from taking pace this school year.

She notes that students are continuing to fight for the school to implement metrics to define exactly how programs are improved by tuition increases and properly consult students ahead of additional hikes.

“We haven't really seen any good feedback from the administration on where exactly these tuition increases will be going,” Schmidt said.

“So we want metrics from the university to actually outline how students can gauge the quality and the improvement of their programs once.”


The University of Calgary confirmed to CTV News in a statement Friday that the tuition increases will be invested in enhancements to “program quality and the student experience.”

“Examples of program enhancements include: experiential learning opportunities, scholarships and bursaries, enhancements to career services, program instructional improvements, new resources such as engineering lab kits, funds to encourage diversity in medical simulation laboratory materials, greater diversity of patient representatives in the curriculum, and the purchase of diverse multi-media assets for physical exam teaching.”

Nicolaides also noted in his statement that the province is providing $167 million in student assistance from the advanced education budget, which would include $12 million in new funding over three years to existing scholarship programs and $15 million over three years to new bursaries.

Additional funding is also expected to go towards student financial assistance, but an exact amount has yet to be confirmed.

“I believe that all Albertans should have the opportunity to attend post-secondary and that is why we are adding millions of new dollars for financial supports for students,” Nicolaides added in his statement. Top Stories

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