The Canadian Federation of Students Newfoundland and Labrador states that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador ended Memorial University’s historic tuition freeze, which resulted in a tuition increase of 150 percent for domestic students. The cost of a degree is $25,480 compared to the $10,200 that students paid during the years when the province froze tuition fees.
They state that the average undergraduate tuition for international students has increased by 97 percent, meaning they will pay $41,810 more for their degree than before the cuts, making Memorial University the most expensive university in Atlantic Canada for International students.
Furthermore, they state that students in Newfoundland and Labrador are currently facing unprecedented threats to accessible and affordable education. “Young people and families across this province and country are terrified for their futures as their ability to access even a marginally affordable Post-Secondary Education is being ripped away. Low-income students and folks from marginalized backgrounds are watching as their opportunity to attend university disappear,” they state.
The CFS-NL states that the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador believe that “historic commitments to funding accessible and quality post-secondary education must be honoured and protected to ensure the prosperity of future generations that wish to study in the province.”
According to CFS-NL, the investments in post-secondary education and affordable tuition have supported “the growth and health of diverse communities, including our Indigenous communities, across Newfoundland and Labrador for 22 years. Cuts to post-secondary education have jeopardized the growth of these communities.”
They state, “Education is a public right that all students, both domestic and international, have the right to quality and accessible education in the province.”
The CFS-NL is calling on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to uphold the province’s historic commitment to accessible education by committing to free education and the elimination of differential fees. They are also asking the government to eliminate all student debt, to sustain the college and Memorial University with healthy funding levels, and to honour Indigenous learners’ right to education.
Matt Barter is a fourth-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.