Extreme tuition hikes to engineering, medical programs will harm access, student trust

May 19, 2021  |   Found in News // Media Releases


Extreme tuition hikes to engineering, medical programs will harm access, student trust

CALGARY – University of Calgary administration presented plans for massive tuition increases at an information session during the Students’ Legislative Council (SLC) last night. Student leaders saw this proposal for the first time at this meeting, with no documents being provided in advance. These increases would be on top of two consecutive years of ten per cent increases in the engineering faculty, with more increases likely in the future.

Undergraduate engineering students from Canada who start their studies in September 2022 can expect an increase in tuition of 32 per cent and international engineering students will see a 51 per cent increase. Students who enroll in the Medical Doctor program will pay 15.7 per cent more. Exceptional increases must be approved by the Minister of Advanced Education.

“After two consecutive years of major increases across the board for students, with another likely this year, the University of Calgary is demanding even more. The university is placing the burden of the financial chasm created by provincial cuts squarely on the backs of students. If the university is looking to drive students further into debt, they are on the right path.” – SU President, Nicole Schmidt

Canadian students starting their engineering studies in 2022 will pay nearly 60 per cent more than the base tuition for students who started their studies in 2018. Increases of this magnitude are not sustainable for students.

It is disappointing that these proposed increases were brought forward immediately after students finished their classes and exams. The University of Calgary has a duty to consult students in the affected faculties, as well as the Students’ Union, and it is difficult to see how the university can effectively do this while students are on summer break.

In the information session with the SU, the university blamed provincial cuts as a large part of the need for exceptional increases. However, the provincial cuts are not valid grounds for these exceptional increases according to provincial policy. Exceptional increases may only be brought forward if it is to increase program quality. The Students’ Union asked for details on how more tuition revenue would be spent in advance of the meeting last night, but nothing detailed was provided by the university in advance or in person.

The Students’ Union has extended an invitation to university administration to return to SLC on June 1st to conduct a consultation now that student leaders are aware of the proposal and will have the opportunity to speak to their peers. The SU looks forward to receiving an itemized and costed list of program improvements at this meeting, should the university agree to attend.

Should the increases be presented to the Minister, the SU calls on Minister Nicolaides to reject or delay the proposed increases so that students currently in the faculty can be adequately consulted on these proposals.

Media inquiries may be directed to:

Mike Brown

External Communications Specialist

University of Calgary Students’ Union

Cell: 403-560-0577

Email: Michael.brown1@ucalgary.ca