Alberta is considering letting some post-secondary institutions hike tuition fees to bring some program costs in line with other institutions across the country.
The University of Calgary says it may apply for the tuition hike and the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law announced on Friday that it intends to submit a proposal to the government for an increase in tuition market modifiers. While the school says the tuition hike is needed to keep up with student demands, students say they ought to be consulted first.
"We would like to see, at the very least, a student vote on these market modifiers if proposals do go forward," said Levi Nilson, vice-president external with the University of Calgary students' union. "We think the university should present a strong case as to why they're needed and why they sort of use this legislative loop hole to get around the tuition cap."
Market modifiers to tuition fees were last used in Alberta in 2010.
According to the University of Alberta students' union, some faculties at the school saw tuition rise by more than 66 per cent.
The provincial government legislated in 2006 that tuition cannot rise at a rate higher than inflation, which rose to 2.5 per cent in Alberta in July 2014 compared to July 2013.
However, the current legislation allows for market modifiers as a one-off increase to bring tuition fees in line with other institutions if the school looking to raise tuition can show a clear discrepancy.
If accepted, the proposed increase at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Law would bring annual tuition to $15,995 from the current $10,121 — an increase of 58 per cent.