University of Calgary proposing tuition hikes for engineering, business and medical programs
CALGARY -- The University of Calgary's Students' Union says the school is proposing "extreme" tuition increases that would see fees hiked by 32 per cent for domestic engineering students and 51 per cent for international engineering students.
A tuition increase of 25 per cent for the Master of Business Administration and a 15.7 per cent hike for the medical doctor (MD) program is also on the table.
"What it means, basically broken down, is that MD students and domestic engineering students will pay more than $2,000 additional each year. International engineering students will be paying $11,000 more per year," said Nicole Schmidt with the students' union.
"It's very, very concerning."
The increases would begin in fall 2022.
The proposed tuition hikes were revealed by the university on Tuesday night and consultations with stakeholders, including students, are underway.
"The exceptional tuition increases are intended to ensure continued educational quality in high demand programs by offsetting the impact of recent provincial budget reductions," reads a statement from the university."
Under the Alberta Tuition Framework, increases are capped at seven per cent for domestic students and universities need to be approved for exceptional tuition increases by the province. U of C is proposing exceptional tuition increases for the domestic MBA, MD and B. Sc. Engineering programs and increases to the international program do not fall under that category. Schools can increase tuition for international programs as they choose.
"The additional revenue will be invested in enhancements to program quality and the student experience. Examples of program enhancements are program instructional improvements, new program resources, scholarships and bursaries, program delivery improvements, additional learner services and supports, etc.," the university said.
The proposed tuition hikes for the engineering and medical programs would be in addition to the seven per cent increases already implemented for many programs in each of the last two school years.
"Historically the engineering program at the University of Calgary, in addition to the MD program, are proportionately more costly programs, so we're worried that with these additional tuition increases that they'll become inaccessible to more students," Schmidt said.
The proposal for exceptional tuition increases would have to be approved by Alberta Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides.
A statement from the minister says a submission from the University of Calgary has not yet been received.
"Alberta’s government is committed to ensuring that post-secondary education remains accessible and thoroughly evaluates the potential implications of any exceptional tuition increase proposal that is received to ensure that our post-secondary programs can continue to meet the needs of our students, while supporting our institutions," reads the statement.
Student consultation will run until June.