University tuition fees in undergraduate programs across Canada have risen by 3.3 percent for the 2013/2014 academic year, according to data published by Statistics Canada. This is while inflation was 1.3 percent between July 2012 and July 2013.
The average undergraduate tuition fee this year is $5,772, compared to $5,586 a year prior.
Fees are up in all but two provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, which has frozen tuition increases since the 2003/2004 academic year; and Alberta, which has frozen tuition increases for the current academic year.
Average undergraduate tuition fees are the lowest in NL ($2,644) and Quebec ($2,653), and the highest in Ontario ($7,259) and Saskatchewan ($6,394).
For international students, the rise in undergraduate tuition fees is 6.8 percent for an average fee of $19,514 in the current academic year.
Among undergraduate programs, dentistry is still the most expensive with average tuition fees of $17,324, followed by medicine ($12,438) and pharmacy ($10,942).
The most expensive graduate-level program is master of business administration, with an average fee of $35,889 for the executive master of business administration program and $24,168 for the regular master of business administration program.
In response to the latest stats, the Canadian Federation of Students is asking provinces to reduce tuition fee rates.
“In light of the massive debt burden already carried by most students, provinces should be reducing tuition fee rates, not further increasing them,” CFS national chair Jessica McCormick said in a press release.
“This does nothing but make the student debt crisis even worse than it already was.”
The union noted that tuition fees “are currently the single largest expense for most college and university students and are increasing more rapidly than any other cost faced by students and faster than inflation.”
According to a report published last week by the left-leaning think tank Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the average tuition fees in current dollars increased from $1,464 in the 1990/1991 academic year to $6,348 in 2012-13.
The report predicts that by 2016/2017, fees will have tripled compared to their 1990-91 levels after adjusting for inflation.