The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) Executive Team is excited to announce that for the 2017/2018 school year, domestic and international students will not experience tuition fee increases in addition to the 1.3% inflation rate. For the first time in at least four years, students will not be subjected to budgetary cuts to any University units including programs, faculties, and other academic entities.
At the tabling of the University’s operating budget for the 2016/2017 year, the UMSU Executive voted against a 3% budget cut to all University units. Throughout the year since the University’s last budget was tabled, the 2016/2017 Executive Team has worked with the University to strongly express collective student concerns regarding extreme tuition fee increases and budget cuts. As members of the student body at the University of Manitoba, the UMSU Executives have directly experienced the repercussions of budget cuts and tuition increases on student life, and have worked to ensure all students can have an accessible and affordable post-secondary education.
In both February and March, UMSU President Tanjit Nagra submitted a letter to the University of Manitoba and the Government of Manitoba calling for minimal increases to tuition fees and no cuts to the University’s operating budget. The Executives lobbied diligently for predictability and affordability for international students, who have been neglected to be included in tuition fee protections in the past. To bridge the gap for cuts in the University’s operating budget in previous years, international students have seen year-to-year tuition increases upwards of a staggering 15%.
As the University has tabled a budget for the 2017/2018 year, the UMSU Executive Team is pleased to support a balanced budget with no cuts or drastic tuition increases. Despite minimal post-secondary operating grant increases from the Government of Manitoba, the UMSU Executive is happy to see the University has recognized the need for fairness concerning international and domestic student fees and is listening to the concerns of students above all else.
The 2017/2018 UMSU Executive will continue work with the University and the provincial government to sustain this positive trend. The Executive Team will persist in advocating for predictability for international students, as well as an accessible, affordable and quality post-secondary experience for all University of Manitoba undergraduate students.