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University fees in Canada rise faster than incomes: study


15:23, September 12, 2012

OTTAWA, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- University education in Canada is becoming less affordable, according to a study released Tuesday.

Average tuition and other compulsory fees for Canadian undergraduate students are estimated to rise by almost 18 percent over the next four years, from 6,186 Canadian dollars in 2011-12 to 7,330 dollars, says a report by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives.

"Since 1990, with very few exceptions, the tuition-fee burden across the country has been increasing faster than incomes," said Erika Shaker, co-author of the study and director of the education project at the Ottawa-based social, economic and environmental justice research institute.

She explained that between 1990 and 2011, the average annual increase in tuition fees and ancillary fees in Canada was 6.2 percent, or nearly three times greater than the 2.1 percent rate of inflation during this period.

If fee increases had kept pace with inflation, they would currently be at an average of 3,096 dollars rather than the 2011- 12 national average of 6,186 dollars, the study said.

The cost of post-secondary education also varies across Canada' s 10 provinces.

In 2011-12, the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest tuition and compulsory undergrad fees at 2, 861 dollars and will only increase by 32 dollars in 2015-16 after the provincial government implemented a freeze of fees in 1999- 2000 and later rolled them back by 25 percent to 1996-97 levels.

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