A new report by the Maritime Provinces Higher Education Commission says tuition fees for undergraduate students at UPEI are the lowest in the region at $5,520, but students pay more in mandatory fees compared to most other universities.

UPEI students pay a total of $624 in these extra fees. That money covers things such as student union membership, fitness facilities and even transit passes.

The Commission says these mandatory fees vary considerably across universities, ranging from $255 a year to almost $1,200.

Mireille Duguay is the CEO of the Commission. She says it plans to study why there is such a difference and what students are getting for that money.

“It is such a mixed bag in terms of how institutions collect, on what basis they have created those fees. Some of it is mandated by the student associations, but the university is collecting them. It’s very, very hard to draw a conclusion,” she said.

Duguay notes that compared to last year, these extra fees at Maritime universities increased an average of six per cent.

Close to half of the fees go to student associations.