Tuition fees for students attending Acadia University will increase by six per cent beginning September 2018. The tuition fee increase was included in Acadia’s 2018-19 balanced budget that was approved by the University’s Board of Governors on April 20, 2018.
The tuition increase includes a one-time market adjustment of three percent, which is permitted under the provincial government tuition framework. The budget includes increased expenditures on student services including Indigenous student staff and programming, equity support, mental health counselling, and residence staff training. In addition, approximately $435,000 has been set aside to help students manage the impact of the tuition increase and conversations will be had with the Students’ Union on the distribution of these funds with more information to follow. The budget also includes expenditures for long-needed upgrading of the student information system and deferred maintenance to maintain aging infrastructure across campus – a significant challenge faced by all universities in Nova Scotia.
“Preparing a balanced budget is becoming increasingly difficult,” said Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “With our government grant rising at only one per cent per year, we have little choice but to look to tuition fees to generate the revenue needed to maintain campus services, academic and non-academic programs, and improve support services to students from minority groups. We are well aware of the costs of higher education and the difficulties many students face, which is why we have created a bursary safety net in order to help the broadest number of students possible achieve their post-secondary dream. We will be working with the Acadia Students’ Union as we move ahead to roll out the new bursary program.”
“The student representatives around the table voted against the budget, arguing for a stronger consultation process with the Students Representative Council and students at large, and using the results of a recent student survey that overwhelmingly did not support a 6% tuition increase,” said Grace Hamilton-Burge, President of the Acadia Students’ Union. “We recognize and appreciate the increased budget for student supports and are pleased to see funds for bursaries set aside to help students through this transition. We look forward to building a more robust budget consultation process moving forward so students can provide feedback and be part of conversations in a meaningful way on topics as important as tuition. Universities, Student Unions, and the Province need to work together to make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible.”