As a Students’ Union, we should not only be thinking about the students we have now but we should be thinking about our ideal university. One where students don’t have to worry about the cost of education. And one where students from around the world can come to share knowledge. In short, a university that truly ‘Uplifts the Whole People.’
However - this is not currently done and our university has become more and more out of reach for the average person. Potential students have been priced out due to skyrocketing tuition, expensive childcare, and unpredictable and unstable international tuition. As a result, our university no longer admits students solely on their academic ability but also on their financial/social abilities.
This is extremely dangerous since we are losing the contribution of key demographics. It is our responsibility to respond to this and show those potential students that it is possible to attend the University of Alberta despite these barriers.
This is important since I applied to the U of A on a whim and did not expect to be accepted. I didn’t think university was a possibility. In addition, I did not know much about the financial supports that were available to me. There also wasn’t many students from my high school so I felt increasingly alone and isolated.
Thereby, the responsibility falls upon the Students’ Union to reach out and inform students who are from disadvantaged backgrounds that university is possible. This can be done by attending their post-secondary information nights and encouraging students to visit the university campus and see the services we provide as a union.
Form relationships with existing high schools in Edmonton through attending their post-secondary information nights.
Meet with existing High School Students’ Union to share knowledge and pass on experience.
If a high school does not have a Students’ Union, then work with their staff to establish such groups.