PROVINCE INTRODUCES LEGISLATION THAT WOULD ENSURE AFFORDABILITY, SUSTAINABILITY OF POST SECONDARY EDUCATION
– – – Students in Manitoba would Continue to have Western Canada's most Affordable Tuition: Wishart
Legislation is being introduced by the provincial government that would ensure Manitoba students continue to enjoy the lowest average tuition fees in Western Canada and ensure the long-term sustainability of the province’s post-secondary institutions, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.
“Our priority is ensuring Manitoba students have access to affordable, high-quality education at post-secondary institutions close to home,” said Wishart. “Students want a post-secondary education that will allow them to develop the skills they need to secure rewarding careers upon graduation. Our government is taking steps to ensure that Manitoba universities are able to provide a quality education while keeping tuition rates the lowest in Western Canada.”
The proposed advanced education administration amendment act would:
maintain Manitoba’s average tuition fees as the lowest of those charged among western provinces;
enable universities to set tuition at rates that better reflect the cost of delivering programs;
removes the unnecessary processes to review course-related fees, which the minister noted is an onerous provision that has not demonstrated value;
allow the provincial government to deduct a portion of the grants to universities, if the average tuition fees in Manitoba are not the lowest among western provinces; and
provide for a maximum permitted increase for tuition fees, set out as follows:
tuition fee increases to be limited to an annual rate of no more than five per cent plus the Consumer Price Index.
Wishart noted the proposed changes would come into effect for the 2018-19 academic year. Tuition at Manitoba’s colleges and any college-level programming offered by universities is regulated through policy set by the minister. He noted the province intends to amend this policy to reflect the proposed changes at the university level and maintain Manitoba’s average college tuition fees as the lowest among western provinces. Additionally, the legislation would exclude tuition charged by the Canadian Mennonite University, a private degree-granting institution. This provision is identical to the existing tuition legislation, he said.
The average arts and science tuition in Manitoba post-secondary institutions is the third lowest in Canada and well below the national average. Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions have all told government the current tuition cap creates a major constraint on their financial sustainability, the minister said.
The proposed changes would achieve a balance between protecting the affordability of post-secondary education in Manitoba and reducing the administrative burden on universities associated with the annual process of tuition and fee approvals through government. In addition, the new framework would help ensure Manitoba students receive high-quality education, now and into the future, the minister said.
The Manitoba government previously announced an increase in provincial funding available directly to Manitoba post-secondary students through the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative. Provincial investments now totalling $6.75 million in 2017-18, will result in up to $20 million in scholarships and bursaries going directly to students each year, promoting affordable and accessible post-secondary education for more students throughout the province, the minister said.
“Our government is taking steps to keep Manitoba tuition the lowest in Western Canada while also providing additional support directly to post-secondary students,” said Wishart. “We are committed to ensuring that Manitoba students receive the supports they need to achieve success on the path to graduation and beyond.”