UNB President, Eddy Campbell, has announced a five per cent increase in domestic tuition rates and a 10% increase for international students to be effective for the 2016-2017 school year.
In an email to students, Campbell stated that the UNB Board of Governors approved the increase in tuition to address the net deficit of 2.6 million dollars in the upcoming budget.
While the University has outlined more than $192 million in spending, there will be significant reductions to some departments and increases in tuition.
“An average international student is paying close to $29,000 a year in fees, textbooks, housing, and other costs,” says the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) International Student Representative, Pape Mamadou Seck in a press release from the SRC.
“These increases will make it challenging for recruiting and retention of international students.”
In the email to students, Campbell claims that the new budget focuses on providing strong support to students and faculty.
In reading through the budget faculty spending will increase however student services endured a $300,000 cut at UNB Saint John, and meal plans for students living in the Mackay will be increasing by as much as 33% for the upcoming year.
Residence fees will also be increasing for both Saint John residences by 3%. Residence fees have increased by over 25% in the last 10 years with some rooms seeing increases of nearly 50% over the same period.
Campbell did state that there will be a three per cent tuition rebate to New Brunswick students, as well as a 5.5 per cent increase to total scholarship and student aid funding.
The SRC expressed concern following the tuition announcement, stating that the increases place a burden on students, but pointed the finger at the provincial government as the root cause.
“We recognize the extreme financial pressures placed on UNB [due to] underfunding by the provincial government. The SRC expresses concern [over] the unequal tuition and fee increases. Moderating tuition for all students should be a high priority for the New Brunswick Government.” states Kjeld-Mizpah Conyers-Steede vice president external of the SRC.
Earlier this year, Campbell stated that a tuition hike of two percent normally covers the increases in costs as long as the provincial government funding increases by the same amount.
Over the past two years the liberal government has frozen operating grants which, the University says, had a major impact in the development of this years budget.
There will be a town hall on June 6 at 2:30 for students, faculty and the public to address concerns about the new budget.
The budget can be viewed here.