Student group 'disappointed' after University of Moncton hikes tuition by 8%
University blames increase on government's recent cuts to nursing program
The University of Moncton is increasing tuition by up to eight per cent and is blaming it on the province's cut to nursing program funding.
On Saturday, interim president Jacques Paul Couturier, announced an increase of two per cent for current full-time undergraduate students, and an eight per cent increase for all other students, including those newly enrolled.
Nursing students will also have to pay an extra $500 to help pay for clinical training.
"To make up for this provincial funding cut, Université de Moncton management has had to increase its tuition fees, in addition to presenting a shortfall that has dramatically increased," Couturier said in a press release.
He also announced a projected deficit of a little over $1 million.
In April, the provincial government cut $8.7 million in funding for nursing programs at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Moncton.
Trevor Holder, the minister of post-secondary education, previously said the programs weren't creating new seats for students.
But Pascale Rioux, the president of the student federation at the Unviersity of Moncton, said the tuition increase will harm access to post-secondary education.
She said the blame falls on both the universities and the province.
"For us they just choose the easy way by increasing the tuition fees," said Rioux.
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She said this could stop some students from being able to go to university.
"Financially it's really ... difficult for a student to maybe go back," she said. "We're disappointed that the university took that decision knowing that the students already had cuts by governments."
The tuition increase comes after other cuts to program funding, such as a $1,500 grant for student internships.
The Blaine Higgs government also cut the free-tuition program, but kept the tuition-access bursary that uses a sliding scale to cover a portion of tuition for students from low-income households.
The program will include private colleges as well without any increase in funding.
By the numbers
In 2018-2019, after a two per cent increase, tuition fees at the University of Moncton were $5,947 for Canadian students and $10,899 for international students.
Because of an agreement with the province, only New Brunswick undergraduate students who are currently enrolled, or legacy students, see their tuition increase limited to two per cent. This will translate to a $119 increase.
The rest of the students, including newly enrolled students, will see the eight per cent increase. This means domestic students will pay $476 more next year.
International student tuition increased by $872.
Rioux said the federation will be talking to the university and government in hopes this doesn't happen next year.
"Eight per cent of increase of tuition is a big amount of money and I don't' think that students can afford it two years in a row," she said.
With files from Radio-Canada