TORONTO, Oct. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
is pleased to release its response to the Ministry of Training,
Colleges and Universities' reportback from roundtables on technical
tuition related fees. Students recognize that the Province's charted
policy direction on these issues reflects many of students' concerns on
ancillary fees, testing fees, tuition payment deadlines and deferral
fees, but believe more should be done to address unfair flat-fee
tuition billing structures in Ontario.
"OUSA supports the Province's proposed direction to address unfair
testing fees," said Amir Eftekarpour, President of the Ontario
Undergraduate Student Alliance and Vice-President External of the
University Students' Council of Western University. "The Ministry has
recognized that it is unfair for students to pay a second time to
access online evaluation materials, or textbooks with bundled
evaluation materials, when they have already paid tuition."
Students support the Ministry's specific proposals to require
institutions to pay for standalone online evaluation materials through
operating funds and in cases where evaluation is bundled with other
materials, be required to provide students with a partial refund or
upfront discount equivalent to the cost of bundled evaluation
materials. If a university is unable to provide such refunds or
discounts, students agree with the Ministry's proposal that
institutions provide students with a no-cost alternative means of
assessment equivalent to the online materials.
Students also commend the Province for recognizing that tuition deferral
fees must be regulated to ensure that students unable to meet tuition
costs by payment deadlines do not pay additional fees. Previously,
students relying on financial assistance or summer earnings could be
required to pay deferral or late fees due to deadlines set long before
they received their OSAP entitlements or final summer earnings. The
Province's proposed changes to tuition payment deadlines and deferral
fees recognizes that this is an unfair practice.
Although students are largely supportive of much of the Ministry's new
direction regarding tuition payment deadlines, deferral fees and
ancillary fees, concerns remain regarding flat-fee tuition billing
"Flat-fee tuition is inherently unfair to students," said Adam Garcia,
Vice-President Administration of OUSA and Vice-President Education of
the University of Waterloo's Federation of Students. "Flat-fees charge
students for education they aren't receiving and disproportionately
affect high-need students, who for a variety of reasons may be unable
to take a full course load."
Although students recognize that the government's proposal to implement
a strict billing threshold of 80% of a full course load will benefit
students at universities with flat-fee thresholds below 80%, students
remain concerned that the lifting of the existing flat-fee moratorium
could see more institutions move to flat-fee billing models.
Instead, OUSA recommends the Province extend the existing moratorium on
flat-fees while simultaneously raising the threshold to 80% for
institutions with this billing practice. Additionally, OUSA urges the
Province to require universities that charge flat-fees to provide
accommodations for students from high need backgrounds, including
Aboriginal students, students with dependents and students with
disabilities, to allow them to pay on a per-credit basis.
To read OUSA's response to "Moving Forward on Technical Tuition Related Issues," click here.
About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
OUSA represents the interests of over 140,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at eight member
associations across Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
For further information:
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Sloan, Director of Communications.
T: (416) 341-9948