Edmonton, AB, Council of Alberta University Students – Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock is floating the idea of having the government pay for students’ tuition in their first two years of university or college. Alberta’s students, who currently pay the second highest tuition in the country, have been looking to the government’s review of the post-secondary system to come up with a better system of making the system more affordable. “It is the best idea I have heard from the review,” says Jen Smith, CAUS Chair. “Our current system is unaffordable and many Albertans are having enormous trouble dealing with the costs. The key change needed is to make the system more affordable while ensuring universities will have the resources to do their job.”
Alberta Advanced Education’s annual report released just last week highlighted these areas of concern, noting Alberta’s low rate of participation per capita in our post-secondary system and the dramatic drop in Albertans who find the system affordable. Three years ago 75% of people polled found the system within the means of most Albertans, a number that has plummeted to 46% last year. Minister Hancock also suggested he is looking at deregulating tuition, an idea students said will not work. “Deregulating tuition could make the sky the limit to tuition in Alberta – we could see fees over $10,000 like in the United States, said Smith. “Albertans do not want another 298% hike over 10 years.”
The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) represents the interests of over 90,000 Alberta university students across Alberta.