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Join the Campaign to #StopAUTuitionHikes

AUSU is calling on all AU undergraduates who oppose further tuition and fee increases. Please join us on Twitter (@AUStudentsUnion) between November 4-9 to #StopAUTuitionHikes!

Background

As you know, AU students have shouldered significant tuition increases over the past three years, with costs rising 7% in 2020, 5% in 2021, and 7% in 2022. Students living in Alberta currently pay about $800 per course, while out-of-province students are charged an additional fee and pay more than $1,000 per course. Now, with the Government of Alberta allowing universities to once again raise tuition by 5.5% in September 2023, students are asking… how much more will they have to compensate for the chronic underfunding of AU?

It’s a valid question and one that your AUSU Student Council has asked many times. The university is home to more than 38,000 undergraduates, yet it receives between 30-50% less provincial funding per student than similar universities in Alberta, resulting in 70% of AU funding coming directly from tuition. Practically speaking, the upcoming 5.5% increase will raise the cost of your education by roughly $30 per course.

Call to Action

AUSU knows you are already struggling to afford your education. In our 2021 Annual Student Survey, one in four students said they were likely to apply to AUSU’s Virtual Food Assistance Program. Having to choose between paying for courses and food security is a recurring theme in our member feedback.

“What we’re hearing is that many students have reached the point where they are being forced to choose between studying hungry or dropping out. AUSU receives hundreds of applications each year for the Virtual Food Assistance Program, all from our undergraduate members facing food insecurity. AU is supposed to be an open university but the high cost of tuition is closing doors on its students.”

Karen Fletcher, AUSU President

AUSU is asking:

  • For the Government of Alberta to increase AU’s funding to make it equitable with Alberta’s other universities;
  • For Athabasca University to not raise tuition;
  • For Athabasca University to reduce the out-of-province fee by $50 to bring the total cost per course under $1,000.

Although we regularly advocate for enhanced student support, financial aid, and greater affordability, the message is much stronger with your voice added to it. The Government of Alberta and AU need to hear from you, so we’re asking you to take action.

Join fellow AU students by speaking out on Twitter from November 4-9 to #StopAUTuitionHikes. Help us demonstrate what this increase means for students! Tweet what $30 means to you along with a photo of $30 worth of groceries. Our goal is to hold the Government of Alberta accountable for underfunding AU, raise awareness about food insecurity among AU students, and prevent another tuition increase in 2023.

Directions

  1. Log in to Twitter. If you don’t have an account, you can sign up here.
  2. Draft a Tweet using the following text format: (see examples below)

$30 means ________.

  1. Include the hashtag #StopAUTuitionHikes
  2. Tag Athabasca University (@AthabascaU), Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Dr. Demitrios Nicolaides (@demetriosnAB), and AU President Dr. Peter Scott (@peter_scott)
  3. Add a photo of $30 worth of groceries (take your own or use one of the templates below)
  4. Send Tweet!

Examples

$30 means food insecurity. #StopAUTuitionHikes @AthabascaU @demetriosnAB @peter_scott

$30 means a lack of winter clothing. #StopAUTuitionHikes @AthabascaU @demetriosnAB @peter_scott

$30 means I can’t afford the internet! #StopAUTuitionHikes @AthabascaU @demetriosnAB @peter_scott

Photo Templates

Temporary Profile Picture

Worried you’ll forget? RSVP on Eventbrite for a campaign reminder!

Campaign Contest

Thank you for supporting the campaign to #StopAUTuitionHikes!

To show our appreciation, AUSU is having a random draw for a $150 grocery store gift card. We chose $150 because it’s the amount that tuition will go up per semester after the September 2023 increase for those taking five courses.

To be entered into the draw, you must:

  • Be an AUSU member (currently taking at least one undergraduate AU course)
  • Send a Tweet following the campaign directions above. 
  • Retweet fellow students to earn bonus entries into the draw!

Questions about the campaign or contest? Email ausu@ausu.org