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April 7, 2008
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Operating Grants Boosted Seven Per Cent, Student Bursaries Doubled; Tuition Allowed to Slowly Increase While Guarding Against Rate Shock: McGifford
Funding for post-secondary education in 2008 will boost university and college operating grants, double student bursaries and extend the tuition freeze this year while allowing tuition to gradually return to 1999 levels beginning next year, Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Diane McGifford announced today.To accommodate the tuition freeze extension, operating grants to universities and colleges will increase to seven per cent from five per cent this year, which is equal to a six per cent increase in tuition. The freeze has been in place since 1999 when tuition rates were rolled back 10 per cent and maintained at that level for the majority of students for eight years.
“Manitoba will continue to be the most affordable place in Canada to receive an education,” said McGifford. “We have always been committed to accessibility and affordability of education and our commitment to students in this regard continues.”
Tuition at Manitoba’s universities and colleges will be frozen for one more year. It will then be permitted to slowly rise to 1999 levels while guarding against rate shock.
“Unlike provinces that experienced 80 per cent tuition increases, we will not have tuition rate shock in Manitoba,” said McGifford. “We will ensure tuition rates are affordable for students and families.”
McGifford also committed to continue the annual grant provided to universities and colleges in compensation for revenue lost when tuition fees were reduced 10 per cent eight years ago.
Manitoba’s student bursary program will receive an $8-million increase over the next three years beginning next year, doubling its support to $16 million. A new bursary will be introduced in 2009 to assist rural and northern students who experience unique costs associated with pursuing
Manitoba will appoint a one-person commission to review the province’s policy on affordability, accessibility and excellence to ensure it is achieving results by providing opportunities for people to achieve post-secondary success who otherwise would not have had a chance to do so.
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