News / Edmonton

Five University of Alberta programs approved by government for tuition increases

Students in five University of Alberta programs will have to pay more for their education after the provincial government approved 25 market modifiers across the province Tuesday.

The highest proposed tuition increase in Edmonton goes to law students, who could face a 56 per cent increase, bringing their total cost per year to $15,995.

Student representatives say the decision to approved U of A's proposed market modifiers is nothing short of poor government management.

"By putting these increases onto students at this magnitude is amazing, and not in a good sense," said Navneet Khinda, vice-president external with the University of Alberta Students' Union and chair of Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS). "This entire process has been quite dishonest. From the get-go, consultation wasn't followed, legitimate student groups weren't heard or respected by government. That's disheartening."

Khinda made the case that by approving these market modifiers — which were first introduced in 2010 — the government has set a precedent for other U of A programs.

"The U of A submitted five when they were said to only submit three and that got approved. Now every time a dean wants to increase tuition for their program, I'm worried that it could happen," she said. "At end of day, I know the government has tough economic choices to make but to punish young people who simply want to better themselves simply isn’t the way to do it."

According to the government's release Monday, the modifications represent less than one per cent of all post-secondary programs in Alberta but that the increases will bring $21 million in additional revenue to the schools approved for market modifiers. Approximately 13,367 students will be impacted.

Dr. Olive Yonge, interim provost at the U of A, is "so, so happy" that the government approved the market modifiers because it will mean more dollars for students' education.

"The funding will be used for enhancing the quality of student experience at the University of Alberta and part of the money, goes to student support and enhancing teacher's resources," she said. "They're trying to work with us and our needs."

The government added in their release that the modifications to many of these post-secondary programs in Alberta will bring them to comparative costs with other Canadian post-secondary schools.

Here's a breakdown of the University of Alberta tuition increases per department

  • University of Alberta Economics program: Students will see an eight per cent jump in tuition and will pay a proposed $5,770.80/ year once it is fully implemented by 2018-2019
  • University of Alberta Pharmacy program: Students face a 14 per cent tuition spike and will pay a proposed $11, 347/year once it s fully implemented by 2017-2018
  • University of Law program: Students studying Law will see the largest increase in tuition out of all the approved market modifiers, with a 56 per cent increase in tuition costs, bringing the expected total to $15,995/ year once it s fully implemented by 2017-2018
  • University of Alberta Master of Business Administration: Students will see a 42 per cent spike in tuition costs, with a proposed $34, 712.24 program total cost coming into effect by 2018-2019
  • University of Alberta Master of Science, Physical Therapy: Those studying in this program could see an eight per cent tuition increase, bringing their proposed total program cost to $19, 971.84 by 2016-2017
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