Lakehead University’s Board of Governors recognizes that raising tuition fees impose some hardship on students so they’ve reached a compromise with the student union.
Thursday evening, the board approved a motion that would raise undergraduate fees by five per cent and international student fees up to 10.26 per cent.
The provincial government has mandated that 10 per cent of the increase is used to fund financial assistance for students. After the board meeting, administration had further discussions with the Lakehead University Student Union and agreed to raise the amount given to financial aid from that 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
“That means additional funding will be available to offset some of the impacts of that tuition increase,” said Cameron Clark, vice-chair of the board of governors. “I think democracy was at work and it did work.”
“I can appreciate the students may continue to have concerns about this but I’d like to think that we will have achieved grudging acceptance,” he added.
A crowd of about 100 students protested the tuition hike before Thursday’s meeting and while Clark said it was a bit out of the ordinary, the board appreciated the interest the students have taken in this issue.
“This is an issue all of us have to come to terms with,” he said. “I should say that the board really takes this decision very seriously. In an ideal world, all of us would rather not raise tuition fees, but universities across the country, certainly Ontario, are experiencing significant increases in operating costs on an annual basis.”
Clark added there is a limited number of tools they can use to compensate for those rising costs and unfortunately tuition costs are one of their options.
“The issue for is trying to strike a balance between educational affordability on the one hand and the financial sustainability of the university,” he said. “We think the decision we landed on has achieved that balance.”
As for criticisms from students Thursday that the increase in tuition for international students would turn people away from Lakehead, Clark said those fees are in line with what other schools are doing across the country.
Dialogue and debate are integral to a free society and we welcome and encourage you to share your views on the issues of the day. We ask that you be respectful of others and their points of view, refrain from personal attacks and stay on topic. To learn about our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines.
Be the first to read breaking stories.Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.