Green caucus calls for better supports for students following tuition hikes

FREDERICTON – Green Party Leader and MLA for Fredericton-South David Coon and Green Education Critic and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar Megan Mitton are calling for the provincial government to provide better supports for students after all four public universities in New Brunswick announced tuition increases for the upcoming school year.

“Students are struggling to get by during the pandemic,” says Coon. “Many do not have summer jobs and are feeling anxious about how they will afford to pay for their tuition on top of all of the other expenses that go with attending university this fall.  Some have signed leases they cannot get out of now that they don’t need to be on campus with teaching moving on-line.”

Last week Mount Allison University announced a 4.5 percent increase in tuition fees for the coming school year, while the Université de Moncton has announced a 7.5 percent increase. The University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University are planning on increasing tuition fees by 2 percent. Meanwhile, 20 percent of New Brunswick youth are unemployed according to Statistics Canada data released on Friday. 

“This is creating another obstacle for students at a time when they are experiencing a lot of uncertainty about what the fall semester will look like,” said Megan Mitton, MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar and Green Education Critic. “I am particularly worried about students who face the most barriers to accessing post-secondary education, and for international students, who have been ignored during the pandemic. It’s time for the provincial government to step up and support students by offsetting these tuition increases.”