By Nicole Murphy
Alberta post-secondaries are now allowed to increase domestic tuition up to seven per cent each year for the next three years starting in 2020. The policy for international students is that they are told how much their entire education will cost when deciding on a post secondary institution.
Alberta schools were on a tuition freeze that lasted from 2014 to 2018 under the former government.
“The freeze was not sustainable. We were told that having the freeze would increase accessibility, but the numbers disagree and if you look at the most recent report you can see that enrollment is actually down,” said Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides.
Minister Nicolaides wants to make it clear that the provincial government wants post-secondaries to look at cost savings within administration before going to students.
“I’ve asked institutions to look first and foremost at finding savings in administrative costs and in areas there may be duplication or redundancy to minimize the impact on the students and the quality of instruction as much as possible,” said Nicolaides.
To oversee this process the institutions must provide a Budget Impact Plan by Dec. 2 to the Minister of Advanced Education where the government will look over proposals.
NAIT’s Students’ Association is also keeping close tabs on decisions that are made by NAIT.
“We (NAITSA) have booked a couple meetings with administration to get an idea of how they are moving forward and make sure we question them if we see they are not being accountable. If they are not being accountable we are more than happy to go with our lobby group to the Advanced Minister,” said Aleksandra Jarugal, VP External.
NAIT currently has one of the lowest tuitions in Alberta and because of the freeze, the institution has not been able to keep up with the consumer price index (CPI).
That being said, NAIT has already confirmed that international students tuition will increase by 10% starting in Sep.2020, and NAIT has declined interviews to all media until further decisions are made.
NAIT Press Release:
We will be working through the details of the budget in the days and weeks ahead to fully understand what this means for us. For our current fiscal year (2019-20), our total provincial funding will be reduced from $194,132,683 to $182,588, 832, a decline from last year of $11,543,851 or 5.95%. This includes reductions in our Campus Alberta Grant (down 2.6%), the Apprenticeship Technical Training Grant (down 5.1%) and elimination for this year of Infrastructure Maintenance Program funding of $6.385 million.
The decrease in funding puts significant pressure on us. NAIT has a strong record of financial stewardship and remains committed to operating in the most efficient way possible. We’ll continue to work closely with government to ensure we continue to provide the foundation for outstanding careers while meeting the polytechnic needs of the province today and into the future.
A very positive note in the budget was the transfer of dedicated monies ($30 million) toward the purchase of the Blatchford lands. We are very grateful to the government for fulfilling this commitment.