University of Calgary students upset over proposed tuition hikes

Those who attend the University of Calgary could see another increase in tuition and the Students’ Union (SU) says if it’s approved, some may not be able to afford to keep learning.

On Friday, concerned students staged a protest outside the room where the U of C’s board of governors was holding a regular meeting.

The SU says tuition fees are set to go up again, with the average domestic student paying about 33 percent more than they did in 2019. International students will see a 40 percent increase in the same period.

The SU says mandatory fees will also be hiked if the proposal is approved.

Aside from how much more their classes will cost, officials say administrators haven’t done enough to consult with students about the changes.

“Students are at a breaking point,” said Mateusz Salmassi, SU’s external vice-president.

“The university has refused to consult in a timely manner when students are available on campus.”

The SU says there was a town hall meeting, but it only lasted an hour and was conducted just as students were tasked with writing their final exams last month.

“The town hall did not lead to any changes to the university’s tuition proposal, which students only learned about less than two weeks prior to the event,” the SU said.

The union says, according to a survey it conducted, one in five students will not be able to afford their tuition after the proposed increase.

“Another 67 percent of students say this latest increase will put a moderate or extreme strain on their finances,” the SU said.

The SU is asking for a delay on the board of governors’ vote until March.

“Students are being squeezed more and more. The least the university can do – and this is in their control – is hold direct conversations with the students,” Salmassi said.

The U of C is expected to share comments on the proposed tuition hike after the board of governors meeting concludes.

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