N.B. post-secondary fees jump

New fees for post secondary education and changes to the education department all around

New Brunswick's post-secondary students will be digging deeper into their wallets to pay for their education, Finance Minister Blaine Higgs announced on Tuesday.

Tuition fees are set to go up at universities and colleges across the province and the provincial government is retooling how it distributes student aid.

Higgs announced an annual $200 tuition increase for all post-secondary students during his budget speech Tuesday.

A tuition freeze was put in place under Shawn Graham's former Liberal government.

 "Tuition fees have not increased over the past three years at universities and the past five years at colleges," Higgs said.

"As such, our government will be capping modest increases at $200 per full-time college and university student."

Higgs also said his government would reinstate the parental contribution for student financial assistance, meaning students' eligibility for loans will hinge, in part, on what their parents make.

The parental contribution was eliminated under the previous government. Higgs said reinstating it will save the province $1.6 million.

 

Schools reforms pitched

While the education budget remains steady overall, Higgs hinted at other possibilities for change, including school amalgamations and shared-service programs.

"Many of our 321 schools are filled to less than 60 per cent their capacity," he said.

"We must develop long-term strategies to make certain we have the right number of education facilities located in the right places Moreover, we must determine if there are simpler ways to administer support to our schools."

The finance minister did not indicate which schools, if any, the provincial government would consider closing, nor how administration may changes.