Rising Tuition: Implications for Access and Career Choice for Manitoba Students

The vast majority of the literature reviewed concludes that increasing tuition fees has a negative impact on enrollment rates for low income students and can impact career choice, diverting students from ‘public interest’ careers that may have lower salaries but address more pressing social needs. The significance of this is that while on the one hand universities help to produce the wherewithal of modern industry and culture, they also create the conditions for an ongoing critique of their own creation. Increasing tuition fees will likely force more and more of our students to seek positions/jobs with those who can and will pay them enough to cover the escalating costs of their education. The diverting of more and more of our resources to private sector, for-profit enterprises will in turn have an effect on the role of social and economic critic so essential to the university system and civil society in general. Examples of potential direct effects include fewer family physicians and more less necessary physician specialists, more corporate lawyers and accountants protecting the freedom to pollute and evade taxes and fewer environmental/labour/public interest lawyers and accountants providing independent expertise on these issues.

To view the full report, click here.


MOFA Report Confirms Higher Tuition Fees Hurt Low Income Students

Higher tuition fees in Manitoba will reduce university participation of youth from lower-income families, and discourage students from pursuing public interest careers, according to a report released today by the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations (MOFA).

Key findings of the report include:

  • Tuition fee hikes negatively impact enrollment among low-income students;
  • Tuition fee hikes increase enrollment inequality, with students from well-off families taking the place of those from more modest backgrounds.
  • Higher tuition fees are linked to heavier debt loads for students at graduation.
  • Higher student debt impacts career choice, with students less likely to pursue public interest jobs.

With the potential for tuition to more than double over the next 10 years, the detriment to low income students will be great and ultimately cost Manitobans the opportunity to pursue higher education.

To read the full report, click here.


Bill 31

On October 26, 2017, UMFA Members joined students from the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba at the Rally Against Tuition Hikes. We believe in high quality, post-secondary education for all, and the current government’s plans to raise tuition rates will have a detrimental impact on Manitobans pursuing higher education.

Bill 31 proposes that universities be able to increase tuition by the consumer price index plus 5%. There is no question that this will impair the affordability and access to post-secondary education for many students across the province.

UMFA President, Janet Morrill spoke before the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday to condemn these tuition hikes and to remind the current government that precarious funding to universities fundamentally decreases the value of post-secondary education and makes it impossible for overworked, underpaid professors, instructors, and librarians to offer high quality education to their students.

To read her statement, click here.

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