Delayed registration fueling uncertainty at Calgary university
Post-secondary institutions across the province are scrambling to make up for unexpected budget cuts. Mount Royal University is no exception.
Students are facing long delays in registering for the fall semester — yet another consequence of the tight provincial budget.
Registration was supposed to open in mid-March, but has been pushed back until the end of April while the school decides which programs, classes and services will stay and which will go.
Phil Warsaba, associate vice president of enrolment management at MRU, said at this point, all options are on the table.
The university had anticipated a two per cent budget increase that was originally "promised" by the province, Warsaba said. When Mount Royal learned it would actually see a 7.3 per cent cut to its budget, the institution was left trying to compensate for a nearly 10 per cent deficit.
Warsaba said stalling registration was necessary.
"The budget, that is the absolute root of the delay," he said.
"Because of some of the pending budgetary decisions, we wanted to make sure that when we open up registration there's as few changes to the student schedule as possible, which we know is an inconvenience for students."
Warsaba said MRU knows it is putting students in a tricky spot by delaying registration, but added it was the best possible option to ensure students were not signing up for classes that do not exist in September.
"The magnitude of the change that's required is pretty astonishing so we want to make sure that we have some time do go through the decision-making process," he said.
Jenni Langille, an MRU Students Association representative said, "Students are used to a schedule.
"As soon as that does not flow, it creates panic when students aren't sure what's going on."
Psychology student Kyla Spargue said the delay is "frustrating" as she waits to find out whether she has been officially accepted into a different program.
Spargue, like many students, had received conditional acceptance into a program, but must now wait to see whether MRU will be able to enroll her.
"I'm not sure if I even have my acceptance any more," said Spargue. "It will be a relief once I finally hear what's going to be going on."
- By KRYSTAL NORTHEY