Public universities in New Brunswick have increased their tuition an average of 10.4 per cent over the last four years, according to the Liberal Party of New Brunswick.
And tuition will go up again for some universities heading into the 2014/15 school year.
“We see a lot of heartache, a lot of tough stories of students who are eating spaghetti every single day and trying to make ends meet, especially near the end of the semester,” said St. Thomas University Students’ Union President Elizabeth Murphy.
Tuition at St. Thomas University will go up again by $357 bringing it to over $5,500.
Between 2010 and 2014, the four publicly funded universities in the province have increased tuition an average of 10.4 per cent.
The University of New Brunswick went up by about 9.6 per cent. Mount Allison rose by 7.8 per cent, Université de Moncton by 10.6 per cent and St. Thomas University by 13.7 per cent.
The Opposition Liberals called the Alward government out on the increases, asking why the province wasn’t supporting post-secondary institutions.
But the Minister of Post-Secondary, Training and Labour says the province is investing more.
“They’re quoting tuition but let’s also talk about our grants that have gone up for universities, one of the only jurisdictions in Canada that are investing more in universities,” Jody Carr said in the legislature.
St. Thomas University administration says it’s about the quality of the education.
“We’re at a point where over four years we want to gradually increase the tuition to bring it in line with the quality of education we’re offering and plus to help us keep a balanced budget situation,” said STU spokesperson, Jeffrey Carleton. “We do one thing and we do it really well.”
Enrollment is also down at universities across the Maritimes. But student representatives say raising tuition isn’t the answer.
“How can we better the lives of students? Because we want to have an educated population, we’ve gotta look at how to improve their lives as a whole, and tuition’s just one aspect of that,” Murphy said. (Global News)