TORONTO, May 2, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, the Ministry of Finance released the
2013 Budget for the Government of Ontario. The release of the 2013
Ontario Budget provided few surprises to Ontario's college students.
The 2013 Ontario Budget includes a commitment to introducing a fairer
approach to tuition deferral fees, a review of the recently announced
post-secondary tuition framework, and funding for a Youth Jobs Strategy
to address youth unemployment.
"In order to address the challenges facing our province's labour market
and economy, we must strengthen the Ontario college system," says Ciara
Byrne, President of the College Student Alliance (CSA). "Ontario's
college students recognize the challenges of balancing fiscal restraint
with the need to maintain quality and improve access to a
post-secondary education in Ontario. We at the CSA will continue to
work with the government of Ontario in the pursuit of sustaining a high
quality, affordable and accessible college system."
A reaffirmation of the government's previously announced intent,
addressing the issue of deferral fees for students who receive OSAP
funding, is a notable addition to the post-secondary tuition-fee
framework portion of the budget. This would ensure students are not
asked to pay for their tuition before their OSAP funding arrives. Also
of interest to Ontario's college students is the announcement of the
Youth Jobs Strategy. This commitment of $295 million over two years
will support a series of projects promoting youth employment
opportunities, entrepreneurship and innovation for youth. The
government has committed to work directly with youth in the design of
the aforementioned strategy.
In the College Student Alliance's 2013 pre-budget submission to the
Ministry of Finance, "Focus on Student Success," college students asked
for an expansion of the 30% Off Ontario Tuition Program, an increase in
per-student funding to meet the national average, and an increase of
support for student employment; inclusive of adult learners. The 2013
Budget did not address the bulk of these proposals directly, with only
the Youth Jobs Strategy recognizing the issue of student unemployment;
this strategy is targeted to those that qualify as "youth," which may
disadvantage mature students.
"Ontario's economic stability relies on colleges to provide training for
a highly skilled workforce", says Tyler Epp, Director of Advocacy for
the CSA. "Our colleges require an increase in per-student funding and a
commitment to expand post-secondary opportunities for Ontario students
in order to meet this responsibility; these commitments were not seen
in this year's budget."
For more information on the College Student Alliance's pre-budget
submission, visit: www.collegestudentalliance.ca
The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy organization, which
has been proudly serving Ontario's college students since 1975. The CSA
currently represents 15 colleges and 21 student councils with over
135,000 full-time student members throughout the province.
SOURCE: College Student Alliance
For further information:
Director of Advocacy
College Student Alliance
College Student Alliance
519.748.5131 ext 16