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Dear Ms Editor of the Voice;
First let’s start out by saying that I really like the new website. Well done!
I read Ms Jabbour’s article on the Tuition Hikes. I have to say that I agree with the Board that AU should cut all tuition for all students. Information Technology does make it cheaper to deliver their education. However, the comments made by the University regarding: “That we are already competitively priced in Alberta, and lowering fees in this province would be harmful to our positioning – underpricing distance education would damage our credibility.”
This is a weak position. If it’s cheaper then lower tuition and AU should have more confidence in their curriculum than that. I believe in AU why doesn’t AU? If the University of Toronto raises its tuition to $22,000 does that mean that AU will too? Maybe AU should be using the power of information technology to lower its tuitions and attracting more Ontario students.
BUT! and a big but is that tuition is not the same for all students. One thing that the report didn’t take into account is the cost for writing tests. I don’t have a AU testing centre in Ontario like most people in Alberta. I have to pay $25 per test! So this is something that I think should also be taken into consideration.
Here in Ontario the Ernie Eves government is hanging on! Like in Quebec there will be a change in government. A Ontario Liberal government will freeze all tuition for the next 2 years. I want to stress to students again and if possible if this could be passed on to Ms Jabbour “You get the government you elect you get the government you deserve.” Albertans gave the Klein government an overwhelming large majority. What you pay in tuition is your problem not mine. I can’t vote that redneck out so he is your problem.
The board that represents students does not reflect the student body. This should be very strongly noted. Minutes could be sent to out of province students for feedback like I am doing now.
Tuition has to be competitive for me as compared with Ontario. Raising tuition is a big issue for me. I will look for other avenues if I don’t get a fair deal as compared with other Ontario Universities. Unlike Alberta I am working very hard to vote this neo-right redneck out of office!
You make a good point about testing costs. I don’t know how much AU takes this into consideration, but I’m sure for many students it is a factor. If tuition for a course is, say, $500 and someone pays another $50 for exams, then their tuition is effectively 10% higher. It may also affect how students select courses. Some AU courses don’t have invigilated exams, while others have two invigilated exams in a single semester. It would be great if AU could work out agreements with other schools to provide low-cost testing space for AU students.
Regarding AUSU: Anyone who wishes to attend a council meeting may contact firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to book you a teleconference line. You can do this from anywhere in the world. If you are interested in receiving minutes of the meetings, you may contact the office about that as well.
Regarding Mr. Klein: Albertans must consider many issues, including education funding, when voting for Premier, whereas out-of-province AU students may judge the Alberta government on this one issue alone. We don’t have they luxury of simply voting for the candidate with the best education policy.
That said, I’m as baffled as anyone as to who is voting for Mr. Klein. I’m glad you like the new website!