The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) is disappointed that the provincial government is set to reduce the University of Manitoba’s operating grant for 2018-2019, which will ultimately result in rising tuition fees for students. On March 12, 2018, the Manitoba Government released its budget for next year titled ‘Keeping our Promises’, including a 0.9 per cent decrease in the University of Manitoba’s operating grant. This grant acts as the province’s primary contribution to post-secondary institutions, and its funding is used to help subsidize the costs of operating the institution. Combined with the elimination of the tuition freeze cap when Bill 31 was passed in 2017, these new operating cuts will see the U of M bridge the financing gap on the backs of its students by increasing tuition fees to continue providing post-secondary services at its current standard.
Following the alarming news about tuition increases, the provincial government has further indicated it is strongly considering removing the universal Manitoba Healthcare coverage for International Students that was instated in 2012. As one of the few post-secondary institutions across Canada that offers any health care for International Students, this has made the University of Manitoba more desirable to attend by improving quality of life and allowing International Students to focus on their education rather than any health issues they may face. UMSU hopes that the Manitoba Government does not eliminate this health care coverage, which has been a primary benefit in keeping the University of Manitoba a leading choice in Canada for International Students considering studying abroad. With International Students already paying nearly three times the tuition as domestic students, and with these fees increasing in the fall, removing the added benefit of health coverage or forcing these students to pay for private health coverage will likely become a deterrent to attending the University of Manitoba.
Additionally, within the new provincial budget the Manitoba Scholarships & Bursaries (MSBI) fund was increased by 19 per cent, which will help more students in Manitoba in financial need. However, this comes at a reduction in the Loans fund.
UMSU stands firmly against any tuition fee increases and possible cuts to International Student healthcare. UMSU will continue to advocate for student rights in regards to all changes that are to come in 2018-2019.
Any inquiries please contact:
University of Manitoba Students’ Union