Canadian Universities Continue to Rank Among the Best
According to tuition fees for students attending post-secondary institutions has risen by an average of 3.1%. This is for undergraduate programs for the 2017-18 academia year based on Statistics Canada data.
Tuition costs $6,571 on average, which is up $196 from the 2016-2017 academic year. The Deputy Chair of the Canadian Federation of Students, Charlotte Kiddell, said, “When post-secondary education is essential to pursue a decent quality of life, it’s absurd that people should be denied that opportunity based on costs.”
Kiddell expanded on the idea that the costs will impact lower income Canadian students such as Indigenous post-secondary hopefuls. She viewed this as perpetuating a cycle of poverty with 70% of new jobs requiring post-secondary education.
Some of the most expensive programs:
Veterinary medicine: $7,667.
Math, computer and information sciences: $7,140.
Business, management and public admin: $7,068.
Health, parks, recreation and fitness: $6,261.
Reduction of Costs to Education Paying Off
Maclean’s reported that, “Alisha Gordon, an Indigenous undergraduate at the University of Calgary, will have less than $1,000 in student debt at the end of her four-year degree. Like many students in Canada, she’s benefitted from the federal and provincial governments’ efforts to reduce the cost of an education.”
The grants for low-income students from the Government of Alberta and the Indigenous Careers Award help with the payments for her tuition. Gordon noted that with her parents being deceased she finds debt is a major source of stress.
It is noted by the article that, for many students, finances associated with post-secondary education are a source of strain. About 50% of students report having debt based on a 2015 survey from the Canadian University Surrey Consortium.
The federal government increased the maximum Canada Student Grant for the low-income grouping to $3,000 per year for the full-time students and to $1,800 for part-time students. Also, the Repayment Assistance Plan allows for recent graduates to not have to immediately pay back their loans until they earn an income over $25,000 per year.
Security Threats to Post-Secondary Institutions in Alberta
Toronto Metro News reported on the potential for security threats online or cyberthreats to post-secondary institutions in Alberta. The Advanced Education Minister, Marlin Schmidt, sent letters to schools requesting updates from post-secondary institutions in the province.
This was to be able to plan to prevent cyber attacks. “We’re also giving them a conduit to coordinate their efforts and share information,” Schmidt said, “Because we’re all in this together, and the more we work together I think the better off we’ll be handling these threats.”
These comments come in the recent wake, in August, of a cyberattack on MacEwan University, where they were defrauded of $11.8 million. The scam artists convinced the university staff to make changes to banking information for one of their big vendors.
Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board (GSACRD) Trustee Spots up for Grabs
According to the Morinville News, the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board (GSACRD) has two spots, on October 16, open for a municipal election. The incumbent René Tremblay is looking to grab one of the trustee positions.
He is running on a strong Catholic educational system in the province of Alberta. Also, he is targeting the GSACRD’s bigger projects for French-immersion. Tremblay has noted that the Carbon Levy of Alberta has affected school budgets including the functioning of transportation and heating.
“I’ve also been a part of some of GSACRD’s big projects, like the building of new schools, and I really want to be there when they open,” Tremblay said. If re-elected, he noted a desire to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is AUSUs VPFA. He works with various organizations, and runs In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal, and In-Sight Publishing.