Ontario's students paying second highest tuition in Canada



    TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
(OUSA), representing students across the province, is deeply concerned with
the rate of increases for tuition in Ontario, as highlighted by a Statistics
Canada report released today. Ontario continues to have the second highest
tuition levels in the country and saw one of the biggest increases in Canada.
    Students are worried that rising tuition fees will pose a threat to the
affordability and accessibility of post-secondary education by increasing
already unmanageable student debt levels.
    "The current tuition framework in Ontario is unsustainable and will soon
lead us to have the highest tuition in Canada," said Trevor Mayoh, President
of OUSA. "Ontario is almost $1000 above the national average, and that's
before you even take ancillary fees into account."
    Constant increases in tuition are resulting in a greater reliance on
student-loans that can lead to growth in student debt in the province of
Ontario unless focused debt reduction measures are in place.
    While the report shows that full-time Canadian undergraduate students
paid 3.6 per cent more, on average, for tuition fees for this academic year,
Ontario faced a significantly higher increase at 4.7 per cent - the second
largest increase for all provinces lagging only behind Quebec's 5.4 per cent
increase. On average, Ontario's undergraduates are paying $5,643 in tuition
fees, a figure which is almost $1000 higher than Canada's average of $4,724.
    "In times of economic difficulty, the province needs to be strategic
about investments. When tuition levels are increasing by almost 5 percent
every year, ensuring that significant investments are made in access to and
affordability of higher education is crucial," said Howie Bender, Executive
Director of OUSA. "For example, the education tax credits are expensive to
maintain and do little to improve access. We look forward to engaging in a
constructive discussion with government on how to better utilize that kind of
expenditure."

    OUSA represents the interests of over 135,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province. For more information, please visit: www.ousa.ca





For further information:

For further information: Trevor Mayoh, President, OUSA, (416) 341-9948;
Howie Bender, Executive Director, OUSA, (416) 341-9948; Tammy McQueen,
Director of Communications, OUSA, (416) 341-9948

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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