Sask. posts priciest tuition increase in the nation: Stats Can

High prices aren’t good for the labour market, or families who are tired of paying more, says NDP

The price of a university education in Saskatchewan jumped more than anywhere else in Canada for this school year, and students in Saskatchewan’s universities now pay the second-highest tuition in the country.

According to numbers released by Statistics Canada Thursday, average undergraduate tuition has been hiked by 4 per cent in Saskatchewan compared to last year while graduate tuition fees rose by an average of 5.2 per cent for Saskatchewan students. Both these numbers outstrip every other province.

Tuition for Saskatchewan’s students is now the second-most expensive in the nation, second only to Ontario’s universities.

“This is just plain wrong,” said NDP post-secondary education critic Warren McCall. “The high cost is hard on students, and it’s not good for our labour market moving forward. This province needs more skilled professionals like nurses, engineers and teachers – so we need students to be able to afford to choose Saskatchewan, and be able to afford to make it all the way to graduation. But, instead of this government making it a little easier for young people and families to afford that, they’re making it harder and harder.”

McCall added that with the high and rising cost of living Saskatchewan people are now dealing with, many are forced to factor in high rent prices and utility bill costs when considering a university education, right now.

On top of tuition, mandatory fees for undergraduate university students also rose more in Saskatchewan than in any other province, according to Statistics Canada -- up 14.5 per cent compared to 2.8 per cent nationally. That means, on top of tuition, housing and textbooks, Saskatchewan students have to come up with $394 extra just for fees every year.

“Saskatchewan should be a great choice for Canada’s youth, looking to start their education and their career, but this government is making a mess of the basics,” said McCall. “On top of a high cost of living, this government is driving up tuition prices – our students and our province deserve better.”