UNB graduate students denounce tuition hike

Graduate students at the University of New Brunswick are condemning the university's decision to increase tuition for 2017-18.

The university says full-time undergraduate students will pay $130 more for their tuition – an increase of two per cent compared to 2016-17.

International students will be hit even harder with an increase of $425, or five per cent, for full-time undergraduate students.

The Graduate Student Association says the university is "reaching into the empty pockets of students" and taking away money that could have been used for food or rent.

"Student enrollment is already going down in the Atlantic provinces and these changes will only make it worse," the association said in a news release. "If UNB really wants to bring
students to Fredericton and Saint John, it should think about making it easier for them to live."

The association, which represents over 1,500 graduate students, also says there's a connection between rising debt and an increase in students seeking mental health resources on campus.

"UNB must stand with students and address the root problem, rather than simply throw the bill on the backs of students and let our hospitals deal with the problems," it said.

The university said in its 2017-18 capital budget that the tuition increase will help offset its forecasted net operating deficit of $2.3 million.