Approximately 100 students gathered to protest tuition hikes at the University of New Brunswick senate on March 27.
The protest was organized by UNB law students, who are facing a tuition hike of roughly 50 per cent to be implemented in the 2019-20 academic year.
Two St. Thomas University students who are interested in pursuing law degrees and have considered UNB’s program are disappointed in the hike. Husoni Raymond and Emily Williams feel the increase challenges the accessibility of obtaining a law degree.
“I’ve considered law as a degree and an occupation as I’m passionate about equality and see law as a means to achieve this,” Williams said.
“Personally, I don’t think I will consider UNB with their proposed tuition hike … When we compare UNB to other law schools, they do not rank as high and their lack of ranking and growing tuition costs concern me. I stand with the protesters and understand why they’re protesting.”
UNB’s Law program is not the only one expected to see major hikes in tuition fees.
Nursing, Engineering and Business programs at the university can expect a 22.40 per cent increase, or almost $2,000. The increase for Kinesiology, Computer Science and and Business faculties could see a 17.30 per cent increase, which equals a jump of over $1,000.
The Forestry and Environmental Management faculty may see a 12.19 per cent increase in its tuition fees, and the increase for arts and science students will move from $6,626 to $7,096, a 7.09 per cent hike.
A UNB Student Union infographic shared on social media with the hashtag #KeepTheDoorOpenUNB said zero per cent of this additional revenue will go to the individual faculties.
“All revenues will go to the operating budget of the University,” it read. “As students, we strongly oppose these increases.”
The UNBSU also held a town hall meeting on April 6 with UNB vice-president academic George Maclean, where members voiced their support for the model of consultation that was taking place. Maclean answered questions from the room and presented the changes made to the tuition after new consultations since the senate meeting.
Raymond, who wants to help improve and reform the legal system in the future, said people who’ve studied law are already seen as elitist.
“The tuition hike will only perpetuate that reality and make it fairly hard for people from the lower class to attain a legal education,” Raymond said.
“Education in all fields should be accessible as a means of ensuring social mobility.”