The Alberta government is postponing a round of tuition increases requested by the University of Calgary, citing the need for better consultation with students.
“This is a massive gain for the student union. This is a massive gain for the students at the University of Calgary,” said U of C Students’ Union President Nicole Schmidt.
“It is not often that we get lawyer gains of this magnitude or on this scale, especially a government treaty gain.”
Under the school’s proposed “extraordinary” increases, tuition would increase by 15.7 percent for medical education and 32 percent for the bachelor of science in engineering for domestic students.
International Bachelor of Science in Engineering students would see that teaching increased by 51 percent.
For master’s programs, tuition would increase by 25 percent for the master’s degree in business administration and by more than 35 percent for the master’s degree program for international students.
Schmidt says she is grateful the province stepped in.
The student group says the university got a 10-month window off September to June to consult students and submit proposals for tuition increase to the province.
However, the university did not reveal its plans until mid-May, six weeks from the end of the time frame, and after the students had gone on summer vacation, the Students’ Union said.
“SU warned the university that consultation was not sufficient, but the board of directors still approved the increase plan and sent it to the minister of advanced education for final approval,” the student group said in a statement.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Advanced Education says the province decided to allow the university until October 29 to conduct more consultations and resubmit its plan after hearing concerns from students who felt consultations were not adequate.
In a statement to CBC News, the University of Calgary said it was happy to expand the effort with the extra time given, although it believes the consultations with students and stakeholders were robust.
While the details of this consultation process are still being worked out, the teaching increases may still become a reality in the fall of 2022.
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