Tuition increases again
author: Isaac tamlin | contributor
Its all about the money/ jeremy davis
Raises continue into tenth year
As of Sep. 1, 2018, tuition at the University of Regina has gone up by 2.8 per cent on average, rounded to the nearest $0.25 per credit hour. The exact value of this increase differs on a faculty-to-faculty basis.
For example, in the Arts, tuition is rising from $211.75 per credit hour to $217.75 per credit hour, compared to Business Administration whose fees, already at $247.25 per credit hour, increase to $254.25 in the 2018/19 year.
As well, tuition for the Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy, and PhD programs in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy will be increased by 5.0 per cent, again rounded to the nearest $0.25 per credit hour.
All other master’s and PhD students’ tuition will be subjected to the same 2.8 per cent tuition increase, again with the same rounding.
For international students, this 2.8 per cent is subjected to the 3.0 modifier compared to domestic students. This is up 0.3 per cent from the 2.5 per cent increase to tuition last year.
This 2.8 per cent increase also affects the mandatory Recreation and Athletics Fee, which will also be increased by 2.8 per cent rounded to the nearest $0.05, going from $92.70 last year to $95.30 this year.
Since 2008, tuition has been going up by as much as 5.0 per cent each year. Tuition is likely to continue going up within this range every year, as operational costs continue to rise, unless the provincial government happens to invest more money into post-secondary education to meet these rising costs.
In an interview regarding tuition increase, when asked about the reasoning behind it, Provost and Vice-President Academic Thomas Chase gave a statement.
“Operating costs at the university increase every year. That’s salaries and benefits, that’s things like utilities, though we have made some savings with some of the new energy efficient retrofits in buildings.”
“Licensing costs, software costs, costs of library acquisitions, all of the things that we call operating costs that keep the institution open on a day-to-day basis are going up every year. 75 per cent of our operational spending is on salaries and benefits.”
“Of course, we are obligated to honour the conditions that we bargain in our collective agreements, including pay increases and, in some cases, benefit increases. That’s really the major cost driver in university is salaries and benefits,.”
However, during the interview, Chase also mentioned that it’s important not look just at the “sticker price,” but rather the overall amount that students are paying.
According to a study from 2015-16 Statistics Canada, the University of Regina cites scholarships as being 29 per cent of Tuition and Fees revenue among Canadian Comprehensive Universities, marking it as in the top three, only behind the University of Saskatchewan, and Memorial University of Newfoundland, which is 10 per cent higher than the comprehensive average of 19 per cent.
This means that despite the fact that tuition is going up, many University of Regina students are actually paying less money out of pocket as more of it is covered by scholarships, such as the Saskatchewan Advantage scholarship, for students who have graduated from a Saskatchewan high school after 2012.
Most other universities in Canada are also subjected to rising tuition costs on a yearly basis because of the increasing operational cost. However, universities under the NDP government in Alberta are currently subjected to a tuition freeze with the government “backfilling” the universities when there isn’t enough money rather than having the university raise tuition. The University of Regina had a five-year tuition freeze lasting from 2003-2008.
In an interview with the executive director of the Regina Public Interest Research Group [RPIRG], Krystal Lewis, which recently had a panel discussion on the idea of a tuition freeze at the University of Regina, they argued in opposition to the tuition increases.
“Any tuition increase contributes to the unaffordability for students to attend university and manage costs. It also creates more barriers to lower-income folks, because even though there might be grants, scholarships, or student loans available, there’s a lot of students that can’t cover some of those costs, even upfront.”