Students Hit Back Against Fall Tuition Fee Hikes



    
    Tuition Fees to Increase Again from Four to Eight Percent Across the
    Province
    

    OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - University and college students from across the
National Capital Region took to the streets today to remind "Back-to-School"
shoppers about another tuition fee hike taking effect at the start of fall
classes. Fees will increase by as much as eight percent for some students.
This increase is part of Dalton McGuinty's "Reaching Higher" framework, which
many students feel is ironic given that the policy was promoted to Ontarians
as a method to improve the affordability of higher education.
    As new students and their parents went out shopping over the
"Back-to-School" weekend, they were reminded of the hurdles that Ontario
students now collectively face. The event captured the attention of many
shoppers, collecting hundreds of signatures on their petition calling on the
Ontario government to immediately reduce tuition fees.
    "Today's action is one of many planned for this fall and is a response to
years of government underfunding of post-secondary education," said Erik
Halliwell, the Vice President Student Issues of the Carleton University
Student' Association. "McGuinty's policies have resulted in skyrocketing
tuition fees."
    The McGuinty "Reaching Higher" framework allows institutions to raise
tuition fees between four to eight percent each year. As a result, students
today are deeper in debt than they have ever been before. Average student debt
in Ontario has more than doubled in the last ten years and is now approaching
$28,000 for a four year program.
    "Tuition fee levels in Ontario are approaching levels where it's just not
feasible for some of Ontario's youth to afford an education," said Mike
Fancie, a Campaigns Organizer at the Student Federation of the University of
Ottawa. "Education is a right and should be accessible to everyone who wants
it."
    Graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Ottawa and
Carleton University participated in today's action and will be working with
students on campuses across Ontario to organise a province-wide day of action
to drop tuition fees on November 5, 2008. Students are encouraged to get
involved with their campus students' unions to support the campaign for a new
post-secondary education framework.





For further information:

For further information: Lesley Vaage, Vice President External, Carleton
Graduate Students' Association, (613) 560-2600 x.8270; Seamus Wolfe, Vice
President University Affairs, Student Federation of the University of Ottawa,
(613) 560-5800 x.4074 or (613) 816-7483 (cell); Shelley Melanson, Ontario
Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927
(cell)


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