To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
Statistics Canada has released a report today on tuition.
It is very interesting. The MSU had no clue it came out, so I gave them a quick brief and pointed out the huge opportunity this presents to lobby on behalf of students. Funny eh, I am MSU Public Enemy Number One, they are trying to get me expelled but they are sure happy to get information from me… lol
Anyway, I am going to copy and paste the StatsCan article and place it in the blockquotes (yellow background and indented) with my opinion / take outside of the blockquotes.
Here we go!
University tuition fees 2006/2007
Overall, students returning to Canadian universities for undergraduate studies this fall will face greater increases in tuition than last year.
Students can expect to pay on average 3.2% more in tuition fees, almost twice the rate of growth in the previous academic year.
Undergraduate students will pay an average of $4,347 in tuition fees for the 2006/2007 academic
year, up from $4,211 the year before. This is almost triple the average of $1,464 in 1990/1991.
Since 1990/1991, tuition fees have increased at an annual average rate of 7.0%. In the 1990/1991 and 1991/1992 academic years alone, they went up 15.2% and 16.5%, respectively. In contrast, since 2000, the increase has slowed to an annual average of 3.9%. The recent lower fee increases reflect government moves to regulate fees.
Even so, average tuition fees between 1990/1991 and 2004/2005 increased at a faster pace than inflation. During this period, tuition rose at an average annual rate of 7.7%. This was almost four times the average rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Four Times Inflation! Why do we not see this in any Student Association/Union release? This is a very shocking figure. This is how to get attention to the issue.
Also, think about how much better tuition rates would be if Student Unions lobbied for and secure legislation in 1991 that regulated tuition and set it to increase by CPI. This report raises plenty of questions about our Student Unions/Associations and why they are failing to succeed on the tuition issue.
Average tuition and additional fees are weighted by the number of students enrolled by institution and field of study.
For Quebec, a distinction is made for both in and out-of-province students in the weighted average calculations.
All fees are reported in current dollars.
Tuition fees up in six provinces
Tuition fees are rising in six provinces for the coming academic year, although in Quebec the increase is less than 1%. Fees will remain virtually unchanged in Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The biggest increases will be in Prince Edward Island, where tuition will rise 6.5%, New Brunswick, where the increase will be 5.8% and Ontario, where the increase will be 4.6%.
Tuition fees in three provinces will be below the national average: Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Manitoba.
Quebec undergrads will continue to pay the lowest fees in the country as a result of a tuition freeze for Quebec residents that has kept fees at less than half the national average since the late 1990s.
This is not really a victory for all students, remember that this is only Quebec students staying in Quebec. Not Ontario, B.C., Alberta or any other student from other provinces. They pay pretty much the same rate as students at Ontario Universities.
The highest fees are again in Nova Scotia, where average tuition will cost undergrads $6,571, a 3.9% increase.
Nationally, tuition fees this fall are 21.5% higher than they were in 2001/2002. In British Columbia, fees doubled during this five-year period but declined 14.1% in Newfoundland and Labrador.
British Columbia lifted a six-year tuition freeze in 2002/2003, after which there were three years of double-digit increases. However, the rate of increase has slowed over the last two years, with tuition fees rising by 2.8% last year and 1.9% this year.
Compared with the 1990/1991 academic year, tuition fees have doubled, and in some cases have more than tripled, with the greatest increases in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.
Doubled, Tripled! StatsCan is giving Students’ Unions perfect soundbits to use and lobby for better regulation and predictability for tuition rates.
Tuition fees in professional fields still highest
The biggest increases in tuition fees this fall will occur for students in architecture and commerce. The most expensive programs are still dentistry and medicine.
Students in architecture will pay $3,805 in tuition on average, up 5.4% from the previous year. Those in commerce will see a 4.8% rise to an average of $3,989. The most expensive program remains dentistry, with an average fee of $13,463, followed by medicine where the fee will be $10,553.
Law students, who have traditionally faced the biggest increase in tuition, can expect to pay 4.6% more this fall. In the past five years, tuition fees for law have risen 65.4%, the highest increase of all faculties.
All professional fields have seen large increases in tuition since 2001/2002. Whereas average undergraduate fees increased 21.5%, fees in law, medicine and dentistry have increased by 65.4%, 47.5% and 41.5% respectively.
Average tuition fees by faculty
Graduate fees rising at over twice the rate for undergrads
Students in graduate programs are facing stiffer increases in tuition than undergraduates. On average, graduate students will pay 5.6% more when they return to school, almost twice the change for undergrads. On average, graduate students this fall will pay $6,479.
Graduate fees are rising in seven provinces for the coming academic year, with the largest increase in Nova Scotia (+20.0%). Graduate fees are unchanged in Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and Alberta.
Since 2001/2002, graduate fees have increased 44.1%. Over that period, graduate fees went up in eight provinces, led by British Columbia (+184.4%) and Alberta (+77.1%). In Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador, graduate fees have fallen since 2001/2002.
International students will also pay more
International students also face increases in tuition. Nationally, international students will pay 4.1% higher fees this fall compared with the previous academic year.
At the undergraduate level, average tuition fees for international students will increase 5.2% to $13,205, just over three times the fees Canadian students pay.
Tuition fees for international students have risen in all provinces, except Saskatchewan, ranging from a high of 16.4% in Manitoba and 9.8% in Alberta to a low of 2.1% in British Columbia and 2.5% in Quebec.
Additional compulsory fees on the rise
The bundle of services included in additional compulsory fees varies from one institution to the next and can also change over time. Typically, they include fees for recreation and athletics, student health services, student association and other fees that apply to full-time Canadian students.
Additional compulsory fees are generally exempt from any provincial tuition fee policy.
Additional compulsory fees for undergraduates make up 12.5% of the total fees a student is required to pay to the institution. Nationally, additional fees this fall will rise 4.0% over last year.
On average, undergraduates will pay additional compulsory fees of $619 in the coming academic year, up from $595 last year.
The highest additional compulsory fees are in Ontario and Prince Edward Island, whereas the lowest are in New Brunswick.
I can tell you that here at McMaster University, we are paying for a lot of things that have nothing to do with classes. I know that the Health and Dental Plan is $150 and results in great profits for the providers. The MSU recently added a Dental Plan to undergrad fees. The interesting note is that the Dental Plan was plagued by the MSU Executive taking corporate gifts. My attempts to ban the practice of MSU Executives taking gifts and selling students out is the reason I have been permanently banned from all MSU activities and the MSU is attempting to have me expelled.
In Ontario, most schools are looking at new Athletics Centres. The Athletics Centres are funded by fees charged to students. A lot of Ontario Universities also have Student Services Fees, Mandatory Athletics Fees, and other misc fees.
Of course, how can we forget that Students’ Union are constantly increasing their fees. A major problem in of itself.
The largest increase in additional compulsory fees is in Manitoba, with the next highest increase in Prince Edward Island.
In Manitoba, the Universities are imposing over $100 in new “student services” fees. Money that is not even being directed into student services. I have posted about the UManitoba fee increases: here, here, here, here (one of my personal favs),here, here, and finally here.
Additional compulsory fees will decline in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3123.
Information is also available on the cost of accommodation on campus.
For general information, to order data, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Client Services (toll-free 1-800-307-3382; 613-951-7608; fax: 613-951-9040; email@example.com), Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics Division.
In short, this report gives Students’ Unions across Canada such a wide opening to bring their issues and concerns to the forefront, that you can drive a supertanker through it!