PEI

UPEI tuition going up 3%

Tuition at the University of Prince Edward Island will go up three per cent for the 2016-17 academic year. The Increase will be $170 a year for a full course load.

'It's definitely an increase we expected, however we did not support the increase,' says student union

The UPEI Student Union says it's not surprised by the tuition increase. (UPEI )

Tuition at the University of Prince Edward Island will go up three per cent for the 2016-17 academic year.

The board of governors approved a budget Thursday night, which includes the tuition increase. The increase will apply to all programs.

"We recognize that the cost of post-secondary education is rising for our students," said UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz in a news release.

"An increase in tuition fees is necessary to help counteract our significant budget pressures. Even with a three per cent increase, our tuition remains one of the lowest undergraduate rates in the region."

UPEI officials say the increase amounts to about $17 a course, or $170 a year for a full course load.

The university's total operating budget is $111 million. The university's core operating grant from the province this year was just over $31 million, an increase of one per cent over last year.

Increase well above inflation rate

The UPEI Student Union only supports tuition increases in line with inflation, says VP Johnathan Rix. (Submitted by Johnathan Rix)

The increase was not a surprise to UPEI Student Union VP of academic and external Johnathan Rix.

"It's definitely an increase we expected, however we did not support the increase," said Rix.

"We only support increases of tuition that are in relation with the yearly increase in CPI [consumer price index]."

In 2015, P.E.I. recorded negative inflation, at –0.6 per cent.

The student union recognizes the university needs the money, Rix said, but adds the increase is still disappointing and points to a need for more government funding.

With files from Angela Walker

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