Saskatchewan

U of R tuition hike follows cuts to varsity sports programs

Tuition costs at the University of Regina will rise by 2.8 per cent after the board of governors approved the change.

Latest University of Regina budget approves 2.8 % increase in tuition

The University of Regina has announced tuition costs are rising, as students are speaking out against cuts to varsity sports programs. (CBC)

Tuition costs at the University of Regina will rise by 2.8 per cent after the board of governors approved the change.

The university announced the higher costs as part of its 2018-19 budget released Tuesday.

"Although the board remains mindful of the impact on students, tuition remains below the national average," the U of R said in a news release.

It said the university has worked hard to maintain affordable and accessible post-secondary education.

Program changes, restructuring and the elimination of vacant positions are among the cost-cutting measures cited by the university.

"I'm proud of the work the university has done to identify efficiencies and seek innovative solutions to generate revenue, and, of course, this good work will continue," said University of Regina board chair Cathy Warner.

Last month, the University of Saskatchewan hiked tuition by 4.8 per cent for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

'Hold the line' on tuition: minister

Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor said she does not want to see tuition costs increased.

"I do want them to hold the line on tuition as much as possible, and going into this next upcoming budget year I'm going to be working very closely with all of our major institutions on those things," Beaudry-Mellor said at the legislature on Tuesday.

The budget announcement follows a controversial decision to cut the U of R men's and women's wrestling and men's volleyball programs.
Advanced Education Minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor says questions about the handling of cuts to some varsity sports programs should be answered by the U of R. (CBC News)

On Monday, students held a news conference to protest the cuts, saying the future of varsity sports programs should not be dependent on budget fluctuations.

Beaudry-Mellor said she could not answer questions about how the decision was handled.

"I have heard the rumblings about the way that this was handled and I think the university needs to answer those questions," she said.

She said she would meet with the students to hear their concerns.

Provincial cuts to blame: NDP

NDP MLA Trent Wotherspoon hosted several athletes from the U of R wrestling teams at the legislature on Tuesday.

Wotherspoon believes the decision is tied to provincial government cuts.

Trent Wotherspoon is blaming provincial funding cuts after the U of R axed its men's and women's wrestling and men's volleyball programs. (CBC News)

"This is about this government finally doing the right thing, recognizing that there's real consequences from their cuts, and bringing the resources forward to support our university and certainly save these important programs," he said.

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