UPEI Student Union Concerned to See Another Tuition Increase in 2017-2018 UPEI Budget
The UPEI Student Union is concerned to see a tuition increase of 3% with the release of the 2017-2018 University of Prince Edward Island budget.
The tuition increase was justified as a necessity in order to counteract budget pressures faced by the university which would otherwise lead to cuts in staffing and services.
“We understand that the university is faced with constraints that result in difficult budgetary decisions,” said Hammad Ahmed, UPEISU President. “However, it is unfortunate that students continue to bear the burden of these decisions.”
In addition to tuition, public funding from the Province of Prince Edward Island provides a significant source of revenue for the university.
“We are grateful for the Province’s increase of 1% to UPEI’s core operating grant and restricted funding, but this additional funding was not enough to prevent another increase in tuition,” explained Ahmed. “Yearly fluctuations in tuition rates make it very difficult for students to financially plan over the course of their education.”
“Despite government’s promise in the 2016 Speech from the Throne, we’ve yet to see the implementation of a multi-year funding agreement with the university,” said Taya Nabuurs, Vice President Academic & External for the UPEISU.
“Such an agreement would allow the university to plan long-term and invest in the future of the institution. Additionally, it would relieve unnecessary financial stress placed on students and their families when trying to anticipate and afford the rising cost of postsecondary education,” explained Nabuurs.
The UPEI Student Union was pleased to see in the university’s budget a commitment to building stronger experiential learning opportunities for students, something the UPEISU hopes to see reflected in government. “Following an encouraging demonstration of support for youth employment in the provincial Budget Address this April, the UPEI Student Union is hopeful that the Province will adopt our recommendation for an Experiential Learning Fund in order to provide more Island students with skills development opportunities which will aid them in transitioning into the workforce post-graduation,” said Nabuurs.