Advancing Education: The Minister Reveals New Measures for Affordable Post-Secondary
Advancing Education

A Breakthrough for Postsecondary Students

Demetrios Nicolaides, Alberta’s Minister of Advanced Education, recently revealed a set of exciting changes that are sure to make post-secondary education more accessible and affordable for students in the province.

On February 16th, these changes were announced, which include a two percent tuition cap for domestic students, an increase in the interest-free student loan repayment grace period to 12 months for graduates after December 1, 2022, and a decrease in student loan interest rates to the prime rate. In short, these changes will make a world of difference for those studying in Alberta!

After the 2019 Alberta Budget, which saw tuition freeze elimination, a $225 million reduction in postsecondary funding, and an increase in student loan interest rates, Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides sat down with student journalists to discuss the implications of these changes. Upon studying other top 50 Canadian universities, Minister Nicolaides noted that the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary had been receiving the highest levels of funding, and thus, it was necessary for the government to make further cuts.

Four hard-fought years since the Alberta government’s 2019 budget cuts, there is finally some good news for student loan holders! Come July 1, 2023, all current and past students—regardless of graduate status—can look forward to a decrease in interest rates. The government is also prioritizing predictability and stability when it comes to tuition fees, which will be determined using the previous year’s consumer price index. It’s a win-win for students and past students alike—because everyone deserves a chance at an affordable education!

Despite a two percent cap on tuition increases, students are still facing rate spikes like the current five-and-a-half percent surge, leaving them with nothing but stability. This lack of predictability hits international students particularly hard as their tuition becomes increasingly harder to predict. Ultimately, the formula employed to limit tuition hikes falls short of providing any real security or reliability.

Albertan universities could be seeing an increase in tuition prices for incoming students, yet international students still must be aware of the exact costs associated with their degrees. As Alberta has fewer international students than other provinces, the Alberta Bureau of International Education (ABIE) is aiming to boost the province’s global standing and draw in more international scholars. With ABIE’s efforts, Alberta is sure to make a name for itself in the worldwide community!

The Bureau of International Education is taking action to help colleges and institutions better support international students. Through the sharing of best practices and investments in student bursaries and spaces for high-demand programs, we are laying the groundwork for a brighter future for both current and upcoming generations of international students. It’s time to take the next steps toward a more inclusive learning environment!

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