Manitoba Government creates survey for students, post-secondary institutions


Correction: The Projector reported April 26 that members of the Red River College Students’ Association (RRCSA) were not consulted about the province’s projected tuition and student fee increase. In fact, members of the RRCSA were consulted about the projected increase. We have updated this article to reflect this and have done some additional reporting.

The Government of Manitoba’s recently proposed budget outlines an expected tuition and student fee increase over the next year, leaving some students concerned about their finances.

“It’s a lot of money. It’s a lot of your time. You’re not usually working full time while you’re in school. So, it’s a big investment,” said Noah Desilets, a medical lab science student at Red River College Polytechnic.

There have been similar projected tuition increases in the past two years of provincial budgets. Maximum tuition increases were kept below the rate of inflation during the 2022/2023 academic year, Brant Batters, a provincial spokesperson, said in an emailed statement.

“Everything seems to be getting more expensive these days, like gas and just like living,” said Dayna Ens, a municipal engineering technology student at RRC Polytech.

The Government of Manitoba’s Budget 2022 states that Manitoba university and college tuition fees are projected to increase by $35 million.

The average tuition rate for a Canadian undergraduate in Manitoba during the 2021/2022 academic year was $5,082, according to Statistics Canada. In the 2017/2018 academic year, it was $4,227.

A student examines RRC Polytech’s tuition and fees policy page on April 22, 2022./NATHAN RICHISON

Adam Freiter, a carpentry student at RRC Polytech, said a tuition increase wouldn’t impact him much but understands it could be difficult for some students.

“I’m in the trades program. So, my seed cost is covered by Apprenticeship Manitoba. I only pay like a slight portion of that,” Freiter said.

The province consulted with members of the Red River College Students’ Association about changes to tuition and student fee policy, according to Batters. It hopes to hear from students, post-secondary institutions, and other student associations through a survey it created through the EngageMB website. The survey closes on May 21.

RRC Polytech has provided student’s with a link to the survey through its online learning management system and in a student news email.

“Tuition rate increases are directed by the province, and they are now in the process of surveying all Manitobans to update their tuition policy for 2023,” Laina Hughes, RRC Polytech Communications Officer, said in an email. “Tuition for the 2022/2023 academic year for all programs is being finalized, and we will have more information soon.”

Any changes to the new tuition and student fee policy will not be implemented until the 2023/2024 academic year.