Calgary

Market modifier tuition increases will be fought: Alberta students

Students across Alberta are getting ready to take the fight over proposed tuition hikes to the streets.

University of Calgary among schools asking province for permission to bump tuition

Tuition for several post-secondary programs in Alberta could rise sharply if the province allows institutions to use market modifiers. Students will be protesting the proposed increases on Monday in Edmonton. (Getty Images)

Students across Alberta are getting ready to take the fight over proposed tuition hikes to the streets.

Earlier this fall, the government opened the door to market modification, a policy that allows post-secondary schools to apply for permission to hike tuition fees for specific programs with the goal of bringing them into line with what other institutions in Canada are charging.

The Ministry of Advanced Education was supposed to make a decision on Monday about whether to allow the hikes but that's now been delayed.

Instead, students from across the province will gather at the legislature Monday to protest the proposed hikes.

While the institutions say the increases are necessary for certain programs, student leaders say the increases will force some students to drop out.

"I know a few people who actually can't go to school next semester because of this if it goes through," said Omar el Naggar, a Mount Royal University student.

Several institutions have already applied for permission to use market modifiers including the University of Calgary, which wants to bump its engineering tuition by 32 per cent, its law school tuition by 24 per cent and its business school tuition by 18.5 per cent over two years.

Mount Royal University has also proposed tuition hikes, which would see course fees in its nursing program jump from $494 to $594 per course.

That would make the program the most expensive of its kind in the province.

As well, the University of Alberta has proposed increasing tuition for its law school by 58 per cent, which would see the cost rise to $15,995 per year from the current $10,121.

"I think this is a national issue and I really think everyone needs to know about these tuition hikes," said Joe Borsato, a fourth-year history student at the University of Calgary.

"It's not going to stop so I really think people need to step up and take a stand on this issue."

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly said the proposed fee hikes would see nursing courses go from $100 to $594 per course. In fact it would be a $100 increase from $494 to $594.
    Nov 17, 2014 9:49 AM MT

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