Canadian fees soar as chiefs feel pinch

August 22, 2003

The cost of a Canadian undergraduate degree continues to soar.

Students starting this autumn will pay an average of C$4,025 (£1,800) in tuition fees, up 7.4 per cent from the C$3,749 the year before and more than double the average of C$1,464 in 1990-91, according to figures from Statistics Canada.

Fees vary depending on province and discipline. Average undergraduate tuition fees for this year are highest in Nova Scotia at C$5,557. Full-time residents of Quebec pay just C$1,675.

Students on professional programmes pay some of the highest tuition fees.

Dentistry students in Saskatchewan will pay C$30,178 this year, while the average cost for the rest of the country is C$11,733, a rise of 20.9 per cent.

Medical students will pay C$9,406 on average this year, up 16.7 per cent, while law students will pay C$5,995 on average, a 19.4 per cent increase.

International students face an average 7.5 per cent increase for undergraduate studies, at C$11,256.

Joel Duff of the Canadian Federation of Students told The Toronto Star: "Students are being weeded out of the system, especially in the professional programmes."

But Robert Giroux, president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, told The Globe and Mail: "Until the provincial governments are prepared to fund the universities to a level that will ensure access... and maintain the quality of education... universities will have no choice but to get the revenues from other sources."

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