TORONTO, Sept. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Statistics Canada's annual tuition fee data released this week shows Ontario boasting the highest tuition fees in the country for the seventh year in a row, the result of a decade of tuition fee hikes under Liberal governments. Despite paying more than their counterparts in other provinces, Ontario students study in the largest class sizes with the worst student-teacher ratio and lowest per-student funding allocation in Canada. Students are calling on the province to immediately reduce tuition fees and re-invest in post-secondary education to reverse this trend.
"For seven years, Ontario has found itself ranked the most expensive place in the country to pursue post-secondary education, yet the government seems content with its reputation as the home of high-cost, low-quality education," said Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "At what point does this data become a public policy priority for the provincial government instead of an annual PR exercise?"
The average tuition fees in Ontario for the 2015-2016 academic year are $7868, up from $7539 in 2014, and over $5000 more than Newfoundland and Labrador, which offered the most affordable tuition fee rates in the country at $2660. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador also set a new benchmark of affordability of post-secondary education this year by converting the provincial portion of student loans into needs-based non-repayable grants.
"While the provincial government boasts minor reforms to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) as a historic commitment to enhance access to higher education, students know that access to more debt is not the answer to high tuition fees," said Gabrielle Ross-Marquette, Ontario National Executive Representative for the Federation. "If they were truly interested in making history, then Ontario would follow the example of Newfoundland and Labrador by reducing up-front financial barriers and immediately converting student loans into non-repayable needs-based grants."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's oldest and largest student organization, representing over 350,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
For further information: For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact: Alastair Woods, Government & Media Relations Coordinator (416) 925-3825 (office) or (647) 378-8942 (cell) or email@example.com; Rajean Hoilett, Chairperson, (289) 923-3534 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org; Gabrielle Ross-Marquette (bilingual), Ontario National Executive Representative, (647) 918-9864 (cell) or email@example.com