Campus catch-up

International students to pay more tuition

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International students to pay more tuition

International tuition will rise next year at the University of Alberta, which the university’s Students’ Union is calling “ridiculous” and unfair. 

The University of Alberta’s Vice-President (Finance and Administration) said tuition increases are designed to cover for a 7.2 per cent slash to its base operating grant. 

The Alberta government announced a one-year tuition freeze in April, but this doesn’t cover international tuition. International tuition is unregulated in Alberta, unlike domestic tuition. 

In an interview with the university’s student newspaper, The Gateway, student union president Petros Kusmu said the university’s tuition advisory committee has told international students that tuition will be increasing by five per cent in the coming year. 

According to Kusmu, tuition will increase even more for professional programs such as pharmacy, business and engineering. 

For a pharmacy student, he said, this means an extra $1,700 for yearly tuition.  

All of this, Kusmu said, makes international students feel they are being treated like “cash cows”. 

International students already pay higher tuitions and are eligible for less scholarships and bursaries, he said. 

“At the end of the day international students are expected to foot the bill more,” he said.

 — Sebastian Leck

Too many sick notes for missed exams, says St. Mary’s campus nurse

Jane Collins, a nurse at Saint Mary’s University, said too many students ask her for doctor’s notes to miss exams, and she’s sick of it.

From now on, she said in an interview with Maclean’s On Campus, many students will be directed to off-campus walk-in clinics, which charge fees for sick notes.

Professors still ask students to get sick notes for missed midterms, she said, which is usually a waste of time. According to Collins, the registrar has asked deans to send the message along to professors, but it hasn’t gotten through.

She said she books off an hour a day to write sick notes during the post-midterm period.

She suspects some students are lying, she said, but there is no way to tell. Some students come in saying they were sick weeks ago, but still need a note for an exam, she said.

 According to Collins, one student came in three times with the same complaint, which occurred three weeks ago.

 She said she hopes to change the culture on campus.

“It all comes down to the professor being responsible and saying, ‘you missed an exam, here’s a make-up,’” Collins said, “or the student studying even though they have three exams in two days.”

 — Sebastian Leck

Dalhousie students vote against fossil fuels

The Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) passed a motion last week calling for the university’s Board of Governors to end investments in fossil fuels, Maclean’s On Campus reported last week. 

The motion, which was passed unanimously, is meant to pressure the university to respond. It’s part of a movement to divest away from the oil industry. 

The on-campus group Divest Dal has been pushing for the Board of Governors to pull investments in fossil fuels since May.  

 “It is morally bankrupt for an institution who claims to be a leader in sustainability to profit off the extraction of fossil fuels, the warming of the climate and the displacement of millions of people,” said Divest Dal member Rob McNeish in a press release. 

 McNeish said divesting from fossil fuel companies is a good economic decision, since investments in the industry are becoming more volatile.

 Dalhousie’s endowment, which is money the Board of Governors invests in various portfolios, amounts to over $411 million.

“Divesting from fossil fuels is a viable option for the university, and we’re so happy to see the DSU join us in asking for it,” said McNeish.

McGill University’s Board of Governors rejected a petition for divestment from an environmental active group in May, citing a lack of “social injury” from investing in fossil fuels.

— Sebastian Leck 

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