VANESSA WANG/THE VARSITY

Statistics Canada has released a report detailing tuition increases across the country.

According to the report, the average cost of university tuition for undergraduate students has increased by 2.8 per cent for the 2016–17 academic year in comparison to the year prior. Statistics Canada also reported a rise in “compulsory student fees,” including athletic and student association costs.

The report further revealed that engineering programs saw the highest rise in tuition costs from an average of $7,511 to $7,825 — a 4.2 per cent increase. Pharmaceutical studies, on the other hand, was the only subject that saw a decrease in tuition rates, with costs falling 18.4 per cent this academic year as compared to the previous year.

Other than pharmacy programs, however, tuition fees across all subject disciplines have increased.

Throughout Canada, tuition fees for international undergraduate students rose 5.6 per cent for the 2016–17 academic year, with average annual tuition costs at $23,589.

Tuition fees for graduate students also rose across all disciplines. MBA programs remained the most expensive, with tuition fees averaging $27,574.

The statistics also indicate a wide disparity between the average costs of tuition across Canada’s provinces. Ontario has the highest tuition costs, with average annual fees of $8,114, in comparison to Newfoundland & Labrador’s $2,759.

Newfoundland and Labrador still enjoys the lowest tuition costs in the country on account of the provincial government’s ‘tuition freeze’ policy.

Persistent increases in Canadian tuition fees over the years continue to present a unique financial challenge to university students across the country.

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