Thousands of University of Toronto Students Object to Paying More for Less

At U of T it's 3 courses for the price of 5

TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The University of Toronto Students' Union (UTSU), Local 98 of the Canadian Federation of Students, is calling on Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to announce their plans to address the unfair practice of charging flat tuition fees at the University of Toronto and in Ontario.

Since 2009 the University of Toronto has been using a fixed tuition fee model which they are calling a "program fee". The model charges Arts & Science students for a minimum of five course, even if they are only enrolled in three or four.

"The flat fee model is problematic in several ways," says Agnes So, UTSU Vice-President University Affairs. "Students and registrars have noted that since its implementation many students are not able to enrol in the required courses because classes are now full as soon as registration opens." The tuition fee model also forces students to rush through their studies, discourages them from becoming involved in extra-curricular endeavours, and financially penalizes students with low incomes, part-time jobs, dependents or who may be struggling with mental health issues.

UTSU President Munib Sajjad says that "the flat fee tuition scheme takes away students' rights to determine the rate at which they complete their education without financial penalty." He notes that the University of Toronto is the only university in Ontario to implement flat fees at such a low threshold (three courses for the price of five).

The UTSU has collected over 3000 postcards from students who are asking Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to address the issue of flat fees. Specifically, students want the Minister to:

  • Prohibit the institutional practice of charging flat fees at colleges and universities for any threshold below 100 per cent of a full course load; and
  • Ensure that the transition from a flat fee structure back to per-course fees does not allow institutions to raise fees beyond what is permissible under the tuition fee framework.

"As a leading educational institution in Canada, the University of Toronto needs to make education accessible to qualified students from all backgrounds and circumstances, regardless of their financial ability to pay for more courses than they are taking" says Melissa Theodore, Vice-President External for the University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union (UTMSU).

SOURCE: University of Toronto Students' Union

For further information:

Media contacts:
Munib Sajjad, UTSU President:  647-262-6629 | president@utsu.ca
Agnes So, UTSU Vice-President University Affairs: 647-996-0448 | vpua@utsu.ca
Melissa Theodore, UTMSU Vice-President External: 647-832-3497 | vpexternal@utmsu.ca

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