University of Calgary students joined others at the province’s post-secondary institutions for a day of protests against rising tuition costs.
The students braved Friday’s snow and cold to try and stop program costs that they say are putting them out into the cold, permanently.
Alix Devlin, a student at the University of Calgary, said that the rising tuition she and other students have had to pay since the province reversed its freeze has made some undergraduate programs inaccessible.
“There’s exceptional tuition increases that are happening, and that’s not fair at all,” said Devlin.
“Some students are having to have multiple jobs, take lots of loans, and there’s is increased interest on loans—so it’s just all around unfair.” she said.
Additional protests were organized to be held simultaneously at Mount Royal University, MacEwan University, and the University of Alberta.
Students want tuition freeze
According to Statistics Canada, the average tuition cost in Alberta has risen by 15.4 per cent from 2019 to 2021. In 2019 the average undergraduate program cost was $5,692. In 2021 it was $6,567.
Alberta’s tuition has remained below Canada’s average.
James MacKay, another University of Calgary student who attended the protest, said that he hoped the province would reinstate a tuition freeze.
"The fair thing here would be to reinstate the freeze on tuition hikes," he said.
MacKay also said that it wasn't fair that some programs had much larger increases in tuition fees than other programs.
He said that the length of time to pay off student loans make makes it difficult for graduates to get ahead economically or to enter the housing market with mortgages.
"It's insane, like the there's no reason why we should be paying even more money for no increased value of education," he said.