TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Students are calling for more dedicated funding to expand access to higher education in Northern Ontario. Tuition fees, Aboriginal student support and special funding to help students pay for travel costs are highlighted in a report submitted today to the Post-Secondary Education Secretariat by the Canadian Federation of Students.
"Northern Ontarians face unique barriers when accessing higher education and students want the Ontario government to make Northern education a priority in the 2010 budget," said Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Education can be the key to revitalising northern communities, northern industries and the northern economy - but it requires government investment."
The submission was presented today by the Northern Region Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario, the voice of all university students in Northern Ontario. Our Bright Future: Northern Student Issues calls for nine changes to be made to post-secondary education policy in Ontario as the government creates a new funding framework to replace the current one, Reaching Higher.
"Northern students are half as likely to go on to university than their southern counterparts," said Brigitte Dupuis, Northern Commissioner for the Caucus. "We believe that the McGuinty government should promote educational opportunities by investing in lower fees, improved grants for students to traveling long distances and more funding for French-language programmes."
While this submission focuses on issues that are important specifically for Northern schools, submissions that target funding and quality, tuition fees, student financial assistance and graduate research and funding have already been submitted to the post-secondary education secretariat. All copies of Our Bright Future can be found at www.cfsontario.ca.
"In order to attract industry and encourage youth to stay in the North, Ontario needs to invest in educational opportunities," said Melanson. "Improving the funding formula for Northern colleges and universities will also produce research dedicated to creating new industries and stronger cultural centres for Franco-Ontarians and Aboriginal people."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province. The Northern Region Caucus represents every student studying at one of Ontario's four Northern Universities.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information: For further information: Brigitte Dupuis, Northern Region Commissioner: (705) 675-1151 ext. 2410; Shelley Melanson, Ontario Chairperson: (416) 882-9927; Joel Duff, Ontario Organiser: (416) 925-3825