Earlier today, the Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt, announced that the current freeze on student tuition will be extended through to the 2018/19 academic year. The Minister also confirmed that all mandatory non-instructional fees are to remain frozen for another year.
During his comments, the Minister spoke to how this announcement supports the Ministry’s principle of affordability and lessens the barrier that tuition costs may create for PSI students.
As many will recall, these fees represent approximately 60% of AU’s total budget. As we continue to work through our robust and renewed resource planning efforts this winter, we will integrate these ongoing restrictions on tuition fees and mandatory non-instructional fees into our planning documents and calculations.
On a positive note, the Minister also let us know about the possible distribution of modest additional funds to help PSI’s in Alberta cope with the potential difficulties created by this morning’s announcement. We expect to learn what funds we may receive in March 2018, as part of the Province’s annual budget announcement.
In the meantime, we will take every effort to create certainty and continue our path to financial resiliency amidst the current signals from government.
Thank you for your continued hard work, patience, and cooperation as we, as one AU, proceed through our resource planning process for another successful year.
Neil Fassina PhD CPHR ICD.D
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3
Phone: 780 675-6108