Nova Scotia

Students 'discouraged and upset' as tuition rises at Acadia, King's

Acadia University is increasing its tuition by six per cent and the University of King's College is rising by three per cent. Mount Saint Vincent University is also considering a tuition bump.

Mount Saint Vincent University also looking at increasing fees

The King's Student Union tweeted this photo of people protesting a tuition increase. (KSU/Twitter)

Acadia University and the University of King's College in Nova Scotia are increasing their tuition fees for the coming year to cover the rising cost of education.

Acadia fees will rise by six per cent and King's by three per cent. Meanwhile, Mount Saint Vincent University is considering a six per cent tuition increase.

King's students are calling for more public funding for post-secondary education and held a protest in March for reduced tuition fees.

Textbooks or groceries

Many now feel "discouraged and upset" after the King's board of governors voted to increase tuition fees by three per cent, said Lianne Xiao, the president of King's Student Union.

King's already has the highest tuition fees for an undergraduate degree in Canada, with its four-year journalism degree costing students about $40,726.

"Students are already carrying tons of debt and with the increase, students will have to choose between textbooks or groceries," said Xiao.

Acadia's tuition increase will add $500 for domestic students and $1,000 for international students.

The president of Acadia Students' Union, Grace Hamilton-Burge, said the increase is significant for students, but could also have a positive impact.

"If this would go into student services, like student bursaries or medical services, then that's where we could see the benefit," said Hamilton-Burge.

Call for more government funding

Alex Cuming, president of the MSVU Students' Union, said students hope the university administration will join their call for increased government funding.

"We are seeing our student food-bank usage increase every single year, so this is just going to further hurt students," said Cuming.

"Every single year we see a decrease in public funding and having students fund the costs themselves so we are seeing the government step away from education," he said.

Labour and Advanced Education Minister Labi Kousoulis said after the provincial Liberals came to power, they made Nova Scotia student loans interest-free and, in some cases, forgivable upon graduation.

Kousoulis said there's one point he tries to drive home when he's talking to students about education costs.

"What I get across to them is that, you know, you look at the cost of an education, but there is also a value to it, and the fact that we attract more students [than] any other province on a per capita basis shows the value of our institutions."

MSVU's board of governors will meet Wednesday to vote on the proposed increase. 

Should the budget pass, the tuition fees at MSVU will have increased by more than $1,200 over three years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aya Al-Hakim

Reporter

Aya Al-Hakim is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia. She can be reached at aya.al-hakim@cbc.ca.

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