By the Numbers – Rising tuition fees in Canada

Rising Tuition Fees in CanadaToronto — October 4, 2014 — The cost of going to university in Canada varies dramatically depending on which province a student is enrolled in. During the past ten years, average tuition fees in Canada have almost tripled. At the same time, public funding of post-secondary education has dropped significantly.


With a total increase of 239 per cent between 1993-94 and 2014-15, tuition fees in Ontario have increased more than any other province in Canada.


Taking an aggressive stand on lowering tuition fees for all students, including out-of-province and international students, Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest increase in tuition fees during the same period.


In 1991, public funding for Canadian universities accounted for 79 per cent of total operating revenue.


In the same year, the proportion of operating revenue from tuition fees was 18 per cent.


By 2011, public funding for university operating revenue had fallen to just 55 per cent.


As a result, 37 per cent of university funding came from tuition fees in 2011.


In 2012, the Quebec government ended a freeze on tuition fees. Although Quebec has relatively low tuition fees, it is now anticipated that fees will rise by 22 per cent during the next four years – the highest expected rate of increase in Canada.


During the next four years, tuition fees are expected to rise by only 1 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador – the lowest in the country.


Although the percentage increase in tuition fees is not anticipated to be as high in Saskatchewan as it is in Quebec, Saskatchewan has the highest expected increase in dollar terms during the next four years.


Second only to Saskatchewan, it is anticipated that tuition fees in Ontario will increase by $1,010 in the next four years.


Tuition fees in Newfoundland and Labrador are expected to increase by $16 during the next four years – the lowest in Canada.


From 2001 to 2003, Newfoundland and Labrador instituted a roll-back of 25 per cent in tuition fees. This was followed up with a freeze on fees in 2004.


SOURCE: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives