Students attending or returning to the University of Saskatchewan (USask) can expect to see an increase in tuition.
The university announced an average hike of 3.7 to 3.8 per cent for undergraduates and a 1.8 per cent rise for graduate students.
The president of the USask Students’ Union Tasnim Jaisee says now is not the time for an increase in tuition as students begin to get back to a sense of normalcy after closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Students have been struggling with their mental and financial stability and overall education pathways. This puts another obstacle in students’ education attainment goals,” said Jaisee.
In a statement provided to Global News, the university says the hikes are to ensure undergraduates and graduate students get the best possible education in Canada. Students continue to pay reasonable tuition fees compared with other big universities across the country.
- Police identify man found in Quebec fishing tragedy in which 4 children also died
- China nearly hitting U.S. warship is ‘clearly provocative’: ex-navy head
- Singh says NDP won’t trigger election over Johnston, interference. Why?
- Why Danielle Smith says she will try ‘persuading’ Trudeau on climate goals
“To assist with affordability and accessibility, USask provides $54 million annually in financial aid, through scholarships, bursaries, tuition waivers, and crisis aid. For the upcoming 2022/23 year there will be an additional $700,000 invested into financial support for continuing international students who face the greatest need as a result of international tuition increases,” the university said.
Jaisee says the multi-year agreement signed between the university and the provincial government lays out tuition increases over the next four years, which could accumulate to a total of roughly 16 per cent, if it went up by roughly 4 per cent each year.
“Tuition going up almost four per cent, we can assume tuition will go up that four per cent each year. That’s a lot for deal to students to deal with at this point in time,” Jaisee said.
In a letter from the student union for the president and provost of USask, it outlines the challenges students have seen over the past year and where they would like to see those tuition dollars spent, including more financial help and scholarships and grants.
“We want to see more transparency towards more affordable and accessible education pathways for all students. That’s what students are wanting,” said Jaisee.
The university says the increase was determined after consulting students, campus leaders, the dean and executive directors and will be a means to uphold academic excellence for years to come as it’s an essential part of revenue.
“Enhancing the student experience is one of our top priorities and our University Plan 2025 has the bold ambition to set the standard for learning,” said USask provost Airini.