The Canadian Federation of Students stands in solidarity with the current and future students of Newfoundland and Labrador who are opposing austerity measures imposed by Memorial University’s Board of Regents and provincial government to eliminate over $86 million in operating grants allocated to the institution over the next five years. These decisions are a failure to the province’s commitment to affordable and accessible education, and the future generations of learners of Newfoundland and Labrador.

As of the Fall of 2022, domestic students beginning their studies at Memorial University will see tuition more than double to $6,000 annually, while tuition costs for international students will be raised to $20,000 with further increases each year. The new funding model overwhelmingly impacts low-income, Black, Indigenous, students with disabilities and otherwise marginalized individuals who face barriers to obtaining a high-quality post-secondary education. Despite calls for consultation, students and other impacted stakeholder groups were excluded from the decision-making process.

Students from coast to coast to coast reject imposed austerity measures to offset government debt by defunding education. Newfoundland and Labrador has been a frontrunner for affordable post-secondary education for the last twenty-two years, measures announced today are a regressive step towards system that is equitable for all. We call on our elected officials to honour commitments to provide a high-quality, affordable, and accessible education to all learners who chose to study at our institutions.