Tuition is almost half of all revenue received by Ontario universities and those funds are about to be in serious trouble. The recent federal budget reductions follow a cut in operating grants by the provincial government announced in the provincial budget of $40 million in 2013-14, and nearly $80 million the following year.

The framework as announced will allow institutions to increase college and undergraduate university tuition fees by three per cent, while tuition fees for graduate, professional and “high demand” college programs will be permitted to increase by five per cent. International student tuition fees will continue to be completely deregulated.

“While it won’t be easy to absorb this reduction to tuition revenue on top of government funding cuts announced in the last provincial budget, Ontario universities will continue to put the needs of students first,” says Alastair Summerlee, COU Chair and President of the University of Guelph. “Maintaining quality of the learning experience will remain our priority.”

Students are not fans of the newst budget either and members of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance made a number of recommendations for a more affordable tuition framework this past fall in a government submission titled Ontario’s Next Tuition Framework. In it, students recommended that the government freeze tuition for at least one year and increase per-student funding to universities at the rate of inflation to partially compensate. In the event tuition fees would increase in future years, students asked that they not increase above the rate of inflation, as measured by the Ontario Consumer Price Index.

“Students are disappointed that the government has not frozen tuition for a year, nor limited all future increases to no more than the rate of inflation,” said Alysha Li, OUSA President. “Although we recognize that the new framework is better than the 5 percent annual increases we’ve experienced since 2006, at 3 percent, it is still above Ontario’s rate of inflation.”

Ontario post secondary students are on average the most indebted when leaving College/University in the country.  Government spending on Education for Canadians needs to become more of a priority for the youth of this generation to have any chance to prosper.

SOURCES: Canadian Federation of Students, Council of Ontario Universities, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance


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