UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 4 | Feb.
Students seek to give tuition input
Vice-president, Students, expects to hold public forums
UBC students are asking UBC President Martha Piper to include
them in making decisions about how tuition fee levels will be implemented
Post-secondary institutions in B.C. have been given responsibility
for determining their own tuition fee levels, according to a recent
provincial government announcement that officially ended the province's
six-year tuition freeze.
In a recent letter to the president, the UBC Committee to Reduce
Tuition requested a public debate with students regarding any increases.
Brian Sullivan, vice-president, Students, advised the group that
discussions are already underway with student government and a number
of public forums open to all students are expected to be held within
the next two weeks.
B.C. has the lowest tuition fees in Canada after Quebec. UBC is
considering raising tuitions to the national average and to levels
comparable to peer institutions.
A portion -- from 15 to 30 per cent -- of increased tuition fee
revenues will be directed to student financial support, he adds.
About 100 students and members of CUPE 2950 rallied around the
Goddess of Democracy statue in SUB plaza earlier this month, part
of a province-wide day of protest.
"We believe the province has a responsibility to ensure there is
accessible education for all students," says Erfan Kazemi, Alma
Mater Society president. "UBC must first look to remedy its own
cost inefficiencies rather than passing it on to students through
tuition increases. And any fee adjustment must take into account
financial aid and quality indicators."
The rallying students presented Sullivan with a petition directed
at the provincial government protesting increases in fees.
"The freeze has limited the quality of education here at UBC in
a number of ways," says Sullivan. "There are insufficient course
and lab offerings, class sizes are increasing, and classroom and
laboratory facilities are under-resourced."
Student support services such as academic advising, athletics
counselling, and library acquisitions have also been restricted
by the freeze, he adds.
Any tuition fee increase would require approval by the UBC Board
It is anticipated a proposal will be reviewed at the March board
For more information, see Proposed
Tuition Policy on the UBC Student Services Web site.