Students protest "Back to School" tuition fee hikes



    
    Tuition fees will be increased another four to eight percent this fall
    semester
    

    TORONTO, Aug. 22 /CNW/ - University and college students from across the
GTA 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.
    A large banner announcing "Back to School Tuition Fee Increases",
shopping carts, and students with sales tags provided a colourful backdrop as
dozens of students talked to shoppers about this fall's pending tuition fee
increases. The students captured the attention of many shoppers, collecting
thousands of signatures on their petition calling on the Ontario government to
immediately reduce tuition fees.
    "Compared to other provinces, the provincial government is scamming
students," said Rebecca Rose, Vice-President of Education of the Ryerson
Students' Union. "Ontario's fee increases are out of step of other provinces
who have reduced or frozen fees, including Québec, where college education is
free. Ontario needs to drop fees for all students."
    The McGunity "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 10 years and is now approaching
$28,000 for a four year programme.
    "High tuition fees are driving students and their families into massive
amounts of debt," said Hamid Osman, President of the York Federation of
Students. "Students at York shouldn't shoulder massive debt simply to access
education."
    Students from Ryerson, York, University of Toronto St. George Campus,
University of Toronto Mississauga, and University of Toronto Scarborough
Campus participated in today's action. Students are encouraged to get involved
with their students' unions in the campaign for a new post-secondary education
framework.





For further information:

For further information: Shelley Melanson, Ontario Chairperson, Canadian
Federation of Students: (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927 (cell); Rebecca Rose,
Vice President Education, Ryerson Students' Union: (416) 979-5000 x 2318 or
(647) 262-7673 (cell); Hamid Osman, President, York Federation of Students:
(416) 556-3862 or (647) 448-2823 (cell)


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