News / Calgary

Province to foot bill for tuition freeze at all Alberta post-secondary schools

Students at the province’s post-secondary institutions will not face a fall tuition increase or even an inflationary adjustment, the minister of advanced education said Thursday.

The money schools were expecting to take in from students via the annual inflationary adjustment — estimated by the province to be around $16 million for all 26 schools — will instead be made up by the province.

“The department has funds set aside for purposes like these that we’re going to use to make up that shortfall,” said Eldon McIlwain, a spokesperson for Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

The news that the province would foot the bill for the inflationary adjustment came after Lukaszuk spent Thursday meeting with the presidents of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.

Following the lengthy meeting, a smiling Lukaszuk said it was a “win-win-win across the board.”

“(It’s) a great day for students,” he said.

In addition to agreeing that there would be no tuition increase for students or inflationary adjustment, Lukaszuk said all presidents agreed to urge students’ unions not to increase their annual fees.

Collaboration between all schools was discussed in-depth at Thursday’s meeting, and from now on the presidents of the province’s 26 post-secondary institutions, as well as representatives of student bodies, will be meeting with Lukaszuk quarterly.

Indira Samarasekera, president of the University of Alberta, said Thursday’s meeting was, “The first step in a win-win-win.”

Samarasekera said the cooperation and commitment from all post-secondary leaders to work with each other and the ministry was encouraging.

“Ultimately what we all care about is the students, and I think that’s what came out of today,” she said.

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