TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - As the Ontario election officially gets
underway, Ontario's college and college/university students will be looking to
the leaders to show some 'real' leadership and drive the postsecondary agenda
home to all Ontarians, says the College Student Alliance (CSA).
"We have seen and heard all of the leaders talk about the importance of a
strong economy, skilled workers and competing globally, but are they ready and
willing to translate those words into action?" says Tyler Wiles, President of
the College Student Alliance. "Students are tired of hearing what the problems
and issues are; we're looking for results, action and investments."
Students are looking for leadership from all parties on increasing
college per student funding, expanding student financial assistance to those
who do not have the financial means to attend postsecondary and on creating a
system of transferability and mobility between colleges and universities.
Currently, Ontario's over 150,000 full-time students are being funded on a per
student basis lower than any other college or college/university student in
Canada. When revenues from operating grants and regulated tuition fees are
combined, per student funding in 2004-05 stood at $6,685, the lowest of all
provinces. Funding in Ontario was 45 per cent lower than that in Manitoba -
the province with the highest level of per student funding - and 18 per cent
lower than in Prince Edward Island - the second lowest funded province.
"It is unacceptable that the richest province in Canada under funds and
undervalues its college and college/university students so much that per
student funding for college students lags behind not only Ontario university
students but in fact is below the per student funding levels of secondary
school students as well," adds Wiles.
With over 70 per cent of future jobs requiring some form of postsecondary
education, all parties must put forward a plan of action that will move
postsecondary education into the 21st century and ensure that the recent
investments made into our colleges and universities continues - in fact
"It's time the politicians give the youth of Ontario something to vote
for," says Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy. "Our campuses are focusing
on mobilizing the student vote and we are challenging each candidate in all
107 ridings to give them something to vote for."
The College Student Alliance (CSA) is an advocacy and services
organization which has been proudly serving Ontario's college and
college/university students since 1975. The CSA currently represents 16
colleges and 23 student councils with over 109,000 full-time student members
throughout the province.
For further information:
For further information: Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy, T:
(416) 340-1212, C: (416) 346-9951, E: Charlebois@csaontario.org; Tyler Wiles,
President, T: (519) 972-2727 x 4524, C: (519) 566-7211, E: