Students of the University of Calgary have protested the administration’s decision to increase fees yet again.
According to a presentation at a town hall on Dec. 7, most domestic undergraduate students will see a 5.5 percent increase in their tuition fees next year, an almost 33 percent increase since 2019.
Nursing students, however, will see an eight percent increase. The University of Calgary’s board of governors first proposed a 10 percent increase to nursing student tuition but dropped it to eight percent following student input.
Students’ union leaders spoke out against the tuition increase without meaningful consultation with students.
Most international undergraduate students will be hit with an increase of between two and 10 percent for the 2023-24 school year.
The jump in residence fees ranges from two percent to six percent, depending on the building and bedroom type.
A seven percent increase to meal plans was also approved, as well as a four percent increase in student parking permit rates on campus. While most of the price changes will take effect May 1, the parking increase is effective April 1.
“Students are at a breaking point. More and more of us are unable to afford or are choosing between food or shelter and the cost of our education,” said Mateusz Salmassi, vice-president of external relations for the University of Calgary Students’ Union.
“To add insult to injury, the university refused to consult students in a timely manner. We need meaningful consultation. We need transparency.”
Salmassi added financial support for struggling students is extremely limited. There are emergency bursaries, grants, and scholarships students can apply for but they often don’t cover all the costs incurred during the semester or year.
“Young Albertans and students have been left out of the government’s inflationary support measures. The least the university can do is to consult their students transparently,” the student union executive said.
“They held a 60-minute town hall right around exam time last semester and called that a robust consultation. That is not robust. That is insulting.”