Students are concerned their voices aren’t being heard after Friday’s announcement from the Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour that the provincial government and university presidents have agreed to develop a four year funding model, including a ‘tuition-fee schedule’.
The proposed ‘tuition-fee schedule’ implies that the government is planning increases to tuition fees. St. Thomas University Students’ Union President Ella Henry says, “The problem isn’t that students don’t know tuition fees will increase, the problem is that students can’t afford these increases”.
The average university student in the Maritimes will graduate with a total of $37,013 in debt, and New Brunswick has the second highest tuition fees in the country. Post-secondary education in New Brunswick is facing a crisis in affordability and accessibility.
Students’ Union Vice President Education Craig Mazerolle adds, “It is clear that increasing the awareness of students and their families about the expense of a university education will not increase accessibility. Students need real solutions”.
Hundreds of St. Thomas University students have signed post-cards calling on the provincial government to negotiate a four year funding agreement that includes increases to operating grants to universities and reduced tuition fees.