The University of New Brunswick will increase tuition five per cent in the upcoming academic year, but students from New Brunswick are receiving a three per cent tuition rebate.

The university's board of governors approved the 2016-17 operating budget that projected a $2.6 million deficit for the institution.

UNB's operating grant from the provincial government has been frozen for two consecutive years, meanwhile the government has limited tuition increases to two per cent for New Brunswick students.

The university hadn't increased its tuition in 2015-16.

"UNB, like other universities in the region, has faced considerable challenges, and difficult yet necessary decisions had to be made in developing this year's budget," said university president Eddy Campbell in a news release.

"Despite the difficulties we face, our plan remains to turn challenges into opportunities."

Under the new budget, international student fees will increase by 10 per cent.

To offset some of the increasing costs in the budget, the university will tap into $9.5 million in internally restricted reserve funds.

The undergraduate tuition fee in 2015-16 was $6,287. The faculties of business administration, law and engineering have higher tuition.

UNB said the new budget also includes:

  • Scholarship and student aid funding increasing by 5.5 per cent to $9.3 million.
  • Spending reductions of $5.3 million, included reduced spending on staff and faculty.
  • A non-salary spending freeze will continue, except for scholarships and library acquisitions and spending deemed critical.

The student union at UNB was "more than disappointed" with the budget.

"It continues to place a financial burder on students," said UNB Student Union president Travis Daley in a news release.

"This increase sets an unnerving precedent that could discourage students from studying in New Brunswick."