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Report citing spike in tuition rates in the province sparking debate

According to a new Statistics Canada report, undergraduate program costs in the province have seen the most drastic increase. Students here, now have the second highest tuition rates in the country.

The University of Regina’s associate vice president argues the report’s numbers are skewed.

“Statistics Canada includes in its undergraduate student basis students in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and law. All of those programs have high fees, and we don’t think of them as undergraduate students,” said Brian Christie, associate vice president of the University of Regina.

Many schools simply don’t offer medicine or law. Christie also says incentives like the graduate retention program take away funding from institutions, and put them in the hands of students.

“Well the government’s made that choice. And certainly we think that the increase in grants that we’ve been receiving in recent years has been reduced because the government’s decided to put the money in the hands of students directly,” said Christie.

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According to the province, that’s not the case.

“That’s imperially inaccurate. In fact what we’ve seen in the most recent budget is increased investment in post secondary education. In fact dollars to our universities went up about 2.1 per cent,” said Rob Norris, Minister of Advanced Education.

That increase, though, was less than Saskatchewan schools say they needed.

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