BRIEF: 2012-13 U of S tuition rates approved, will rise by an overall average of 4.4 per cent The Sheaf April 16, 2012 12:00 am News The University of Saskatchewan Board of Governors has approved the tuition rates for the 2012-13 academic year, according to an email distributed to students April 16 by the Office of the Provost. The email outlined that for the next academic year, “undergraduate and graduate tuition rates will rise by an overall average of 4.4 per cent. Tuition level increases will vary by program, but most programs will see an increase of 4.2 per cent or less. Student fees for 2012-13 have also been approved.” Tuition rates, which are reviewed annually by the Board of Governors, are set according to three principles: “comparability to similar programs at other medical-doctoral universities; accessibility and affordability, so as not systematically to exclude large groups of potential students; and, the quality of our programs, and the need to ensure our students receive a high-quality education.” A full breakdown of the tuition rate increase was included in the email, a copy of which can be found below. Click to enlarge – Image: University of Saskatchewan Curtis Mennie After viewing the tuition increase rates this morning I have to say that I am very disappointed and quite frankly confused as to the justification for the tuition increase for the College of Law. Over the last five years the tuition has jumped from $7,293 in 2008 to $10,658 in 2013, an increase of 46%. While the Board of Governors seems proud at its average increase rate of 4.4% does this seem like a fair statistic considering that out of the 6.8 million dollars in new revenue 13% is on the back of a program with 340 people. This is a school with 20,000 students and 13% of the new revenue is being generated by 0.017% of the student body. We do not even make up 1% of the student body and yet we are responsible for 13% of the new increase. Can we expect to see these funds spent proportionately to where they came from? While looking for reasoning and rational behind the increase I see that the tuition is set on three principles. Comparability: with the new tuition increase we will be the sixth most expensive school in Canada out of 15. (TRU admitted) While these numbers are difficult to compare, if you look at schools that are within plus or minus 30 students of first year enrolment we will be 2nd out of 6. Affordability and Accessibility: While one can expect tuition to increase with inflation one can hardly plan for an increase of 16%, especially following one a prior increase of around 10%. Enabling Quality: I am very happy with the quality I am currently receiving, and love the program at the University of Saskatchewan. Will I see an improvement next year that will parallel the increase of 16%? The central issue here is accountability, many people choose this school due to its tuition rates and they deserve an explanation as to why the huge increase over the last several years and this year specifically. I am sure that there are many reasons to justify such an increase and the U of S law students deserve to hear this. This increase is substantial and should be explained. last month 120,000 students in Quebec protested over a $1625 increase in tuition over the next four years. Lucky them, a 4% increase in tuition a year, now that seems reasonable. A Disappointed Student Curtis Mennie VP Finance Law Students Association http://www.facebook.com/people/Warren-Kirkland/664105321 Warren Kirkland I could be wrong about the info, so if you’re still at the UofS feel free to double check my info and call me an idiot. The increases to tuition in the college of law is on a long term schedule and was done in consultation and agreement with previous LSA executives and law students in general. It was felt that the low level of tuition were having a negative impact on the quality of law program the UofS could provide compared to other schools, and the increase in tuition would be strategic to improve both the quality of program and the amount of scholarships available for those that need it. That is why law is often the odd ball in tuition increases 16+% versus 4% increase for other programs. It understand it sucks coming in later years after previous student associations consulted and agreed to tuition increases they don’t have to live with, but you get the benefit of a better program. The current USSU exec may have more details, or talk to your dean. They can let you know where the money is being spent. Curtis Mennie edit* This is a school with 20,000 students and 13% of the new revenue is being generated by 0.017 of the student body. We do not even make up 2% of the student body and yet we are responsible for 13% of the new increase. http://www.facebook.com/skemard Shawn Kim Emard I’m not sure if anyone has looked at the third integrated plan yet, but this increase represents only a fraction of the increase that will be coming in the next few years. The U of S is looking at a compounded 15% increase in tuition costs in 3 years, with more increases pending the balancing of the budget: “”Tuition revenue is currently projected to increase by 7.3% in 2012-13″ ~U of S Third Integrated Plan “It is projected at 5.2% in 2013-14, and 4.5% in subsequent years (rate increases only).” ~U of S Third Integrated Plan The planned 7.3% includes a plan to increase overall tuition rate at the current stated rate of 4.4% (I think 5% was proposed) and increase enrollment rate (that just won’t come if tuition continues to rise. Afterall the integrated plan also recognizes that: “. The integrated plan also included funding from government that wasn’t provided by the government, thus there is now a shortfall on top of the shortfall. In short, expect your tuition cost to go up 15% over the next 3 years. You won’t hear about it except for anually. Right now, students in Montreal are protesting: “The latest provincial budget introduced university tuition fee increases of $325 per year, starting with the 2012-2013 school year, and will continue until 2016.” ~http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111110/mtl_student_protest_111110?hub=MontrealHome via CTV Montreal The little secret the U of S hopes to reveal to you year by year to avoid the same student reaction, is that you will be paying an increase of $4-500 a year (for the average undergraduate program – more for professional programs) for the next 3 years, a total of about $12-1500…before more increases are likely proposed for future programming goals, which according to trending since at least 1999 is inevitable. We will be matching the tuition rises in montreal, and we already started with a higher base rate. I disagree with the method of protest in Montreal. Violence is never the answer. Attacking public services or disrupting other students’ abilities to learn is not the answer. And unlike Montreal, the direct blame for the increased cost doesn’t fall on the government withdrawal of funding. The U of S still recieves comparable levels of funding. It’s only their requested increases, not continued support at current levels, that are not being met. Which means this is a budgetary problem, despite the email released to students by the financial services division of the U of S. The costs: “” Our expenses, particularly salary expenses, are projected to grow at a rate which outpaces provincial and federal revenue growth. In addition, both levels of government are planning to cut their operations over the same timeframe. This places significant pressure on one of our primary sources of funding.” -U of S Third Integrated Plan But if anyone should be protesting, it ought to be U of S students. And don’t expect to have your USSU lead the charge. They approved the third integrated plan without consulting the student body even though they garner a mandate to speak on behalf of students by a measly 10% of the student body (those who vote), of which the highest approved candidates usually garner only an 8% approval/mandate – if that. I’ve also had this conversation with them, and it resulted in a swift rejection of my student rights to voice an opinion and seek answers. I’d like to see more dialogue on this topic.