Langara College tuition hike upsets some students

Increase necessary for campus infrastructure and online transition, says college

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By Sena Law

Some Langara students are unhappy over a tuition increase in the midst of the pandemic when financial stability is not a guarantee.

As Langara approaches the one year anniversary of transitioning to online schooling, students learned on Feb. 24 of a two percent increase to domestic tuition in the upcoming school year.

This means an increase of $60.90 for most first and second year students enrolled in full-time studies and an increase of $79.20 for most students enrolled in third and fourth year courses.

Victoria Ioana, a second-year nursing student, said she hasn’t been able to find a permanent job due to COVID-19 because of the lack of job opportunities.

Ioana said she doesn’t understand the school’s decision to increase tuition for the upcoming school year.

“I don’t really have a permanent job,” Ioana said. “I can’t really pay for my tuition, so that just makes my life tougher.”

Joanne Tian, a second-year business student, said she wasn’t aware of the tuition increase but believes that the school is doing their best.

“It’s better for the school because they could use the money to invest in the transition towards online lessons,” Tian said. “But of course, the students don’t really get much out of it.”

Ian Mass, chair of the Langara College board of governors, said in an email to students on Feb. 24 that during the COVID-19 pandemic the college has required more resources and additional investments in infrastructure and that the tuition increase is necessary to provide the best educational experience for students.

Tuition continues to rise

Langara had an operational budget of more than $163 million in 2019. There has been a two percent tuition increase each academic year since. A college spokesperson said the tuition increase this year will specifically help fund the college’s expenses on enhancing and providing resources for online and in-person teaching and learning, as well for the increased software and hardware costs as a result of the pandemic.

Students can expect an increase of resources following the tuition increase, including a wide range of online support and academic services to all students, such as IT, library, and counselling as well as continue support for online learning and teaching tools such as Brightspace, Kaltura MediaSpace, and Zoom, said the college spokesperson.

The spokesperson also said that Langara is committed to providing affordable and accessible education to everyone. The college is offering their best support for those who might be struggling financially with $374,000 in emergency bursaries deployed to support 833 students facing financial challenges during the first phase of COVID-19, said the spokesperson.

In addition to government financial aid, eligible students are also able to apply for bursaries, scholarships and awards to supplement school and day-to-day expenses.

Mass and the college board expect the tuition increase to help with the college’s financial stability while helping students transition to online schooling. They also encourage any students who are struggling financially to contact Langara’s financial aid office for assistance.

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