Manitoba

Tuition fees spike for some students

The vast majority of university professional faculties seeking to hike their tuition fees beyond the five per cent permitted by the Manitoba government have been turned down.

Many more requests for increases denied by province

The vast majority of university professional faculties seeking to hike their tuition fees beyond the five per cent permitted by the Manitoba government have been turned down, but some students will be paying significantly more for their education.

Requests were made for increases as high as 73 per cent and 88 per cent, noted Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford, who issued a news release Friday.

Ten of the 12 requests made were denied.

The province announced last year that it was dropping its decade-long tuition freeze but it capped increases at five per cent. Permission had to be granted for anything beyond that.

"We have worked hard to strike the appropriate balance between education affordability for students and the financial needs of some faculties," McGifford stated in the release.

In the spring of 2010, the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg submitted a combined 12 requests for increases.

The requests were made to the Council on Post Secondary Education (COPSE), which then passed its recommendations on to the province.

The council recommended the province turn down eight requests, while the other four were passed on to McGifford's department for further review.

Following that review, McGifford made the following decisions:

  • To decline an increase of 20 per cent per year for the next two years in the dental hygiene diploma program because the requested increase was not in line with future income expected to be generated by graduates.
  • To decline an increase of nearly 73 per cent over three years for first-year students in the U of M's school of medicine to ensure that recruitment of additional doctors is not compromised.
  • To accept a 20 per cent increase for dental students per year for the next two years, with 15 per cent of the revenue generated from the increase to be invested in student bursaries.
  • To deny an increase of 88 per cent over three years at the U of M's master of business administration program. Instead, the province will allow an annual 25 per cent increase in tuition fees over two years, starting in 2011.

The latter increase will not apply to students currently enrolled in the program and 25 per cent of the revenue generated from the increases will be invested in bursaries.

McGifford said she made the announcement now, after the decisions have been made, "to allow students and institutions to plan appropriately for the upcoming year."

"Our government is committed to ensuring that student success is based upon their ability and their passion to succeed, not on their ability to pay," she said.

"The decisions made by COPSE and our government stay true to this fundamental principle."

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