Manitoba

Manitoba's decade-long tuition freeze ends; fees increasing in fall

The cost of going to university in Manitoba is about to jump after the provincial government announced on Wednesday that its decade-long tuition freeze has thawed. Starting in the fall, the province will allow a 4.5 per cent increase in tuition fees at universities, and a $100 tuition increase at Manitoba's colleges.

The cost of going to university in Manitoba is about to jump after the provincial government announced on Wednesday that its decade-long tuition freeze has thawed.

Starting in the fall, the province will allow a 4.5 per cent increase in tuition fees at universities, and a $100 tuition increase at Manitoba's colleges.

All subsequent increases will be regulated by the province, said Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford, who added the Manitoba government will ensure post-secondary education is affordable and accessible by boosting its investment in bursary and access programs by $2.5 million.

This is the first tuition fee increase since a 10 per cent tuition fee reduction and freeze in 1999-2000.

"Manitoba's tuition fees continue to remain far below those in neighbouring provincial jurisdictions and well below Canadian averages," said McGifford.

The thaw follows a report by Dr. Ben Levin, released earlier this month, recommending the tuition increase.

Levin was appointed on July 28, 2008, as commissioner on tuition fees and accessibility to post-secondary education in Manitoba. His report was released to the public on April 2.

After receiving the report, government officials met with representatives of primary stakeholder groups, including university administrations and students, to discuss tuition fee policy and future access initiatives, said McGifford.

"One of the key findings of Dr. Levin's report is that Manitoba should take steps to ensure those who want to benefit from post-secondary education are not deterred or prevented from doing so," she said. 

"We believe the proposed tuition fee increases, coupled with additional financial supports and access programming, will help universities and colleges manage their budgets effectively while at the same time widening the range of post-secondary opportunities available to Manitobans."

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