April 23, 2010
By Mark Ferguson
The average cost of tuition at the U of S has been increased by 5.2 per cent for the 2010/11 academic year after approval from the university’s Board of Governors.
The announcement was made April 15 at a media conference in the Administration Building, where Brett Fairbairn, vice-president academic and provost, told the audience of reporters, college deans and members of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union that part of the revenue from the increase will be used for university operations and some will be directed by colleges to specific initiatives.
“The increase in resources will allow some colleges to address supports for students such as financial aid, student advising, curriculum innovation, mentorships, increased research activity and, in some cases, hiring professors to achieve competitive student/faculty ratios,” he said.
Tuition in most courses will increase by 4.4 per cent including arts where students will pay $471 for a three-credit course next year compared to $451 in 2009/10. Tuition for courses in the sciences, agriculture and bioresources, education, health sciences, kinesiology, nutrition, computer science and nursing will also increase by 4.4 per cent.
In the Edwards School of Business, tuition will go up by 6.3 per cent. The Colleges of Pharmacy and Nutrition and Engineering will see an increase of 6.1 per cent, and the largest increase – 9.8 per cent – will occur in the College of Law.
Students in the College of Medicine (MD program) will see a tuition increase of eight percent, veterinary medicine four per cent, but tuition in the College of Dentistry will not go up.
Graduate students will see an increase of four per cent in their tuition. There will be no rate change for international undergraduate students but the international graduate student fee will double in 2010/11, to $400, and will be replaced by a differential of 1.5 times tuition the following year.
Fairbairn indicated that the tuition increases in some colleges, such as law, were supported by students and faculty, and that the U of S, in some instances, is at a competitive disadvantage with lower tuition. He added that students across Canada apply to an average of 4.1 schools before making their decision about where to study, and that there is increasing competition for students at post-secondary institutions.
The tuition hike, he said, will bring the U of S more in line with national average rates. For example, in 2009/10, an arts student paid $4,692 at the U of S compared to the national medical-doctoral average of $5,333. Agriculture students paid $4,803 at the U of S compared to $5,221 nationally.
According to a university media release, approval of the tuition changes by the Board of Governors was based on the principles of comparability to other institutions, affordability and accessibility for students, and the need to maintain quality programming.
Tuition comprises 22 per cent of the university’s annual operating budget, a number that has been declining in recent years, stated the release. With a 5.2 per cent increase, tuition revenues are expected to go up by about $4.25 million over 2009/10. While about 3.3 per cent of that number will be used for existing operations of the colleges and the university, the remaining 1.9 per cent, or $1.5 million, will fund enhancements to college programs and services.
“We are working hard to keep increases down,” added Fairbarin. “Also, we want to ensure that a U of S degree means something.”
More information is available at www.usask.ca/tuition