Hundreds of people marched from the University of Alberta campus to the steps of the Legislature Thursday to voice their concern over rising tuition costs in Alberta.
Many of them were students from the U of A, who were joined by students from the University of Calgary and University of Lethbridge who travelled to Edmonton earlier that day for the protest.
The students’ concern was raised when the U of A asked Doug Horner, minister of advanced education and technology, to allow for an increase in professional program tuition through what it called “market modifiers.” In addition, it proposed an extra $550 in yearly fees for all students to pay.
Such an increase in tuition had many students angry and frustrated said Beverly Eastham, VP External of the U of A Students’ Union.
“We started to hear on campus that students were incredibly upset with the fees and the market modifiers that were being put forward and for the lack of say that they were able to have in them,” Eastham said.
“The average student was looking for a way to voice their concern in a really visible manner.”
Students in attendance, like Kay She, VP External for the U of C Students’ Union, believe that education is a right. She said that easy access to a good education would benefit the entire province.
“It’s guaranteed economic growth, economic diversification and puts our province in a competitive place where we can be leaders in the global economy,” she said. “Post secondary education is the best investment Alberta can make.”
U of A’s tuition hike will still need a final approval from the Board of Governors after a meeting on March 26.