Sounding Off

More on tuition deregulation

This week, more AU students Sound Off on AU’s request to be removed from the Alberta Government’s tuition cap. The Voice will continue to offer coverage on this controversial subject as more becomes known. AU has not released an official statement on their position so far. If you have a comment on this subject, send it to – please indicate if we may print your comment.

You may also voice your opinion on this topic by filling out AUSU’s very short survey on the matter, available here:


Let me introduce myself. I am a 3rd year Commerce Student that was in the process of switching from the U of S to Athabasca. Yes, I have run into trouble transferring my credits over (to the tune of 15 credit units) but I had decided that Athabasca was still worth it. Once you add in the extra fees to pay for someone to watch myself write an exam (about $70 each class) and consider that I can not buy used text books for these classes, the U of S is cheaper. When I only have 19 (3 credit classes) to take at the U of S or 24 (3 credit classes) to take if I finish through Athabasca, the threat of the tuition cap being removed, has taken Athabasca off the viable option list.

With my financial situation, I do not qualify for any student loan and I do not want to incur any more student debt than I already owe ($12,000), the U of S is also a better choice as I can pay off my tuition over the year (with some interest) instead of paying for it all up front which I can not afford to do.

If Athabasca is lucky, I may switch to visiting student status and possibly take one or two classes instead of taking the 24 classes that I had planned.

Robin H.

Re: AU’s application for deregulation of the tuition cap:

I plan on faxing Dominique Abrioux tomorrow to express my concerns. Tuition increases will restrict access and will hinder my success in university level studies. It’s bad enough that I have to work full-time while attending university but the already inflated cost of tuition prohibits returning to school as a full-time student.

AU’s website says it all –

[Breaking Down Barriers
“Athabasca University makes it possible for people to earn a university education regardless of where they live or work, or their commitments to careers or families. The University strives to remove the barriers of time, space, past educational experience, and, to a great degree, level of income.”

Mission Statement, 2002
“Athabasca University, Canada’s Open University, is dedicated to the removal of barriers that restrict access to, and success in, university-level studies and to increasing equality of educational opportunity for adult learners worldwide.

“We are committed to excellence in teaching, research and scholarship, and to being of service to the general public.”

I believe that exemption from the tuition cap will move affordable, equal, open education into the realm of the rich. Unregulated tuition caps will lead to university education joining the other deregulated public services in becoming wildly expensive and out of reach for the average Canadian. Not only do I want to complete a university education, so does my son. AU has been a leader in ensuring that university education remains accessible to all Canadians. AU has met only part of its mandate by successfully removing the barriers to education caused by distance. To remain Canada’s Open University, AU should focus on removing barriers to education by keeping tuition rates capped and affordable for all Canadians.

Teresa Neuman
Ottawa, Ontario

You may also voice your opinion on this topic by filling out AUSU’s very short survey on the matter, available here:

To sound off on this, or any other topic, write

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