Students 'Disappointed' College to Increase Tuition Fees
There’s never a clear winner during any negotiations.
However, while not totally getting their wish of a tuition freeze for the upcoming school year, Selkirk College students did manage to convince the Board to at least delay the actual percentage of the increase until a later meeting — most likely in May.
“I have to say the students are disappointed,” a Selkirk College Students’ Union spokesperson told The Nelson Daily following the meeting to which Governors voted to 5-3 for the tuition increase.
Both students on the Board, along with one other member, voted against the increase.
“We had over 1000 signatures stating the students are definitely not in favour of a tuition increase,” the spokesperson added.
“It’s definitely a disappointment having seen so many students come together.”
Between 80-100 students rallied for a tuition freeze before the Board of Governors meeting, Tuesday with approximately 50 attending the monthly session to voice concerns over the rising costs associated with post-secondary schooling.
“They (Board of Governors) made it pretty clear during the meeting their hands were tied,” the spokesperson explained.
“But we told them, they weren’t.”
While the final tuition increase has been delayed, Ty Wright, Director-at-Large of the Selkirk College Students’ Union said the Governors are just playing politics with students.
“Students see the Board’s decision to delay the tuition fee rates for programs as a stalling tactic,” said Wright.
“Chronic underfunding of Selkirk College by the BC government, and continued tuition fee increases, show the lack of priority being made to serve our community.”
Students Union keeps referring to a 2013 Bank of Montreal survey that states the average student in British Columbia graduates a four-year degree program with $35,000 dollars of debt.
Since that time, tuition fees have increased each year without action from government to address mounting student debt.
So even though it appears imminent a tuition increase is on the horizon, students refuse to give in and will now focus on lobbying the provincial government to pump more funds into post-secondary education.
“The BC government needs to increase funding for Selkirk College,” said Wright. “It is time that the BC government better invest in young people and all of those striving to attain a college or university education.”
The Selkirk College Students’ Union represents over 2,000 students at Selkirk College.