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Queen’s University principal calls for end to tuition freeze

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Tuition Freeze
School might be getting more expensive for Ontario students – Nov 21, 2022

Despite the frigid temperatures being felt throughout southeastern Ontario, there’s one thing that might not stay frozen for much longer — university tuition rates.

“Every penny counts,” says Sam Baranek, a masters student at Queen’s University in Kingston.

It’s a sentiment most Canadians can relate to, with the current rate of inflation.

Read more: University of Saskatchewan announces tuition increase for 2022-23 school year

“The inflation for living here, it’s gone up the six years I’ve been here by a lot,” says Baranek.

One cost that hasn’t risen with inflation, however, is the cost of tuition for domestic students in Ontario.

What was originally a one-year freeze came into effect in 2020, and was extended twice.

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“The tuition freeze, mandated by the Ontario government, has had very complex outcomes for all students,” says Callum Robertson, vice-president of university affairs for the Queen’s Alma Mater Society.

Queen’s University principal Patrick Deane, however, is lobbying the provincial government not to extend the freeze for another year, and let schools raise tuition again for the 2023-2024 school year.

“This is a topic that is not black and white,” adds Robertson.

Robertson says while the tuition freeze has been great for domestic students, it has had the indirect effect of making school more expensive for international and out-of-province students.

“Given the lack of funding in operational grants from the provincial governments to universities, this often means that universities charge ever-increasing tuition costs for international students,” he says.

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Read more: Ontario freezes college, university tuition fees for residents for 2nd year

Students like Baranek, however, are not looking forward to the prospect of the freeze coming to an end.

“I know it could be a lot for a lot of people for it to go up by any amount,” says Baranek. “It’s already very expensive and it will definitely affect me, even though I’m only taking like one course.”

It won’t be known until early 2023 whether or not the province will allow universities to begin to raise tuition rates again, but according to students, this is one ‘spring thaw’ they hope not to see anytime soon.

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