Alberta government extends tuition freeze through 2017-18 academic year

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WATCH ABOVE: University students will have another year with no tuition increase. A freeze has been extended until the end of the 2017-2018 academic year. The advanced education minister says it will give the government more time to come up with a long-term solution. As Quinn Ohler reports, students hope they'll look at more than just the cost of classes – Oct 19, 2016

The Alberta government is extending a tuition freeze for post-secondary students by another year.

The province announced last fall that there would be no increase in tuition or fees at universities, colleges and technical schools for two years.

The extension means the freeze will continue through the 2017-18 academic year.

READ MORE: Alberta NDP government begins tuition freeze for post-secondary students

The government says it will use the extra year to continue its overall review of post-secondary funding.

“The extension of the tuition freeze will give us the breathing room we need to conduct those consultations fully and make a good decision,” Marlin Schmidt, minister of Advanced Education, said during Wednesday’s announcement at the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union Building.

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The NDP last fall also reversed a cut that had been announced by the previous Tory government and instead increased base funding by $40 million.

Post-secondary schools and student organizations welcomed the measures and praised the new tuition announcement as well.

“We agree that predictable and sustainable funding is critical to the long-term success of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions and students,” David Turpin, president of the University of Alberta, said in a release.

“We look forward to continuing our work with government and students in developing a funding model that will ensure the high-quality education that Albertans expect and deserve,” he said.

“CAUS is encouraged to see tuition frozen for another year while consultation on changes to the post-secondary system is carried out,” added Dexter Bruneau, chairman of the Council of Alberta University Students.

The province estimates 250,000 full- and part-time students and apprentices will save roughly $16 million a year through the tuition freeze.

“Extending the tuition freeze has helped ease the stress of working to pay off my tuition, helping me and thousands of other students avoid additional student debt,” Hachem El-Sayed, a biological sciences student and the University of Alberta, said.

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