Elimination of long-standing tuition freeze met with fury

MUN President Vianne Timmons. Youtube/memorialuniversity.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have faced much backlash since the release of their budget on May 31st, 2021, particularly with the plan to eliminate the tuition freeze by reducing funds to Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) and allowing the institution to raise tuition.

Paris Marx states, “You know what screams ‘the future’ to me? Saddling young people with tens of thousands of additional dollars of debt at the beginning of their adult lives, when surveys show widening generational inequality. Big thanks to the brilliant public policy minds in government.”

Marx then states that on the one hand, the government talks about building up the ‘knowledge’ economy, including technology but then on the other, it plans to cut the institution that can help achieve that goal. “A short-sighted move that directly transfers the burden from [the] government to young people,” Marx says.

“None of them have the brains to think outside the box to raise funds for the university.”

Leonard Roxon

Leonard Roxon says that the administration at MUN will do everything to justify an increase in tuition fees. Roxon states, “None of them have the brains to think outside the box to raise funds for the university. These bloated fat cats love the laziest and easiest way out, which is to raise tuition fees instead of increasing the quality of education that will attract students.”

Roxon then brings up a point regarding the failed practice of businesses when they increase the cost of products or services to compensate for the lack of sales quantity. Roxon states, “Increase the quality of your products and services to get more clients. One doesn’t have to be Einstein to figure this out!”

Furthermore, Roxon states, “Businesses that do that invariably go out of business! MUN has survived all these years only because of low tuition fees. An increase in tuition fees is going to cost them enrollment. These idiots think linearly for a complex problem!”

Sar (@raviolifeminist) states, “there needs to be money INVESTED – imagine having to CUT nearly 70 million AND increase tuition for the bare-minimum results. University is structured on classism.”

Kelly Hickey says that “Our university is one of our very greatest assets.  It, and our youth, need to be invested in, NOT cut back. This is a sad day. An end of an era. Watch the tuition fees skyrocket while wealth gaps get bigger.”

Bill Harris says, “Paying a half-million dollars for a university president is excessive and needs to be corrected.” Harris provides the following graphic comparing MUN president’s salary to that of the president of the University of Toronto.

Leisha Sagan states, “There goes any incentive for our next child to stay in St. John’s for university. Also now going to look at online Masters programs that will be comparable in price to increases at MUN for myself.”

Emmett Macfarlane says, “I guess they don’t know how high the tuition increases will be to offset these cuts… but damn. Memorial is an excellent university, and looks like the province has decided it doesn’t want an excellent university anymore.”

Christopher Mercer expresses his thoughts to the top, “Premier @FureyAndrew, one of the major issues at @MemorialU is infrastructure, cutting funding while restricting new buildings will force incredible hikes to tuition. Reno to existing infra will be more costly. The result will be no changes to infrastructure. This is not acceptable!”

Political Science Professor Amanda Bittner states, “Just shut the door and turn out the lights. It’ll be faster.”

Twitter user @foxonarock says that “NL [is] really saying we will not encourage millennials/gen z that we will prioritize their futures and invest in their potential with accessible post-secondary, but we will ask them to bear the consequences of all our shitty financial decisions.”

Dean Bavington says that all students at MUN will pay more for less to attend a university that makes many of them sick.

Bavington then states, “Can’t wait to keep breathing in toxic mold & asbestos at MUNL with staff, students and colleagues. Oh, and ask students to breathe it all in and pay more. This is a human rights issue. To have Mark Blyth used by the Dame to drive austerity home is just too much for me to take.”

“Cutting investment in public education at any level – and particularly brutal cuts – is the exact opposite of investing in the future.”

Dr. Dez

Dr. Dez says that “Cutting investment in public education at any level – and particularly brutal cuts – is the exact opposite of investing in the future.” He then states, “Cuts like this at an excellent university that serves its region and beyond so well does not bode well for Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Shealah Hart states, “My problem with the increase in grants for low-income students is that many students come from families who are just making ends meet, have no extra money for post-secondary education, but are not ‘low income’ so their children won’t qualify.”

Twitter user @Anthony30142004 says, “I guess higher education doesn’t matter in this country anymore. Obviously, they want future generations to be surfs and indentured slaves to the 1%.”

Twitter user Brianna (@brildlu) states that “young people in this province deserve high-quality, accessible post-secondary education, and the government is really just tearing that away.”

Brianna then says, “no matter how many problems MUN has, I had incredible professors and got a great education at this university. the youth of this province deserve that too.”

Matt Barter is a third-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.

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