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AUSU Response to 2019-2020 Alberta Government Budget Cuts

The Government of Alberta released the 2019-2020 budget on October 24, 2019, which unfortunately contained significant cuts for post-secondary institutions and students. Since Athabasca University is an Alberta institution, these cuts will directly affect all AU students, no matter where they live.

Your AU Students’ Union was deeply disappointed to see all of the changes in the budget that will negatively impact the affordability and accessibility of education for Athabasca University students. AUSU will be working very hard to minimize the impact of the budget cuts for students and advocate on their behalf.

Some of the Alberta Government budget changes that will impact AU students include:

  • Tuition increases of up to 7% per year over three years, which will significantly impact students’ ability to obtain or complete their post-secondary education.
  • Increase to provincial student loan interest rates of 1%, meaning students will have to pay more money in order to borrow enough to get an education.  
  • Elimination of the Tuition and Education Tax Credits, which for many part-time students means losing the only financial aid available to them.
  • Elimination of the Summer Temporary Employment Program (STEP), which means fewer opportunities for students to gain experience and earn money to pay for their education.
  • Significant cuts to institutional grants, including a 3.6% cut for Athabasca University, which will have a direct impact on the education that AU students receive.

Your AU Students’ Union team has been hard at work investigating the full impacts the budget cuts will have on students and the institution, and developing a plan of action to stand up for the students of Athabasca University.

AU Students’ Union Media Release

AUSU issued a media release about the specific impact of the budget cuts for Athabasca University students, including statements from the AUSU President. You can read this online here.

Alberta Student Leaders Joint Press Release

AUSU worked with student leaders across Alberta to publish a joint press release regarding the budget and the impacts it will have on all students in Alberta. You can read this online here.

Commitment from your AU Students’ Union

The AU Students’ Union is very aware of the detrimental effect the budget cuts will have on some AU students. We want our members to know that we will be standing up for them. We will be working with the University to try to minimize the tuition increases and the impacts the decreased institutional funding will have on students. We will be continuing to advocate to the government for funding and support for students, a commitment to strengthening Alberta’s education sector, and enhanced student consultation in developing post-secondary strategic plans and budgets for the future.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to AUSU at [email protected].

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