On the heels of a provincial budget that leveled significant cuts to Memorial University, rolled back non-repayable grants and re-introduced loans, students are looking to MUN President Gary Kachanoski to confirm that a tuition fee freeze will be maintained for all students in the coming year.
“To leave students hanging in a state of precarity, when the money has already been earmarked for the freeze, is irresponsible,” said Brittany Lennox, Director of External Affairs for the MUN Students’ Union. “At such a critical moment for this province, it is imperative that we invest in our collective future by ensuring affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education.”
The 2016 provincial budget cut $14 million from Memorial University’s operating grant, cut $5.5 million in non-repayable, need-based grants and re-introduced provincial student loans that will saddle graduates with debt in the years to come.
The budget included a tuition offset grant for Memorial University. When questioned, government officials indicated that the grant would be adequate to maintain the tuition freeze for all students, and while fees are set by the university’s Board of Regents, it’s government’s expectation that the money be used to maintain the freeze.
“Government has provided the funding to maintain the freeze for all students. President Kachanoski has an obligation to commit to pursuing that outcome,” continued Lennox. “Students are already facing higher debtloads as a result of this budget. Keeping the freeze is vital.”
For further information, please contact:
Brittany Lennox, Director of External Affairs, Communications & Research 709.864.7633 (office)