Tuition fees set to more than double under Liberals

TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Students are disappointed with the Liberal government's decision to further increase tuition fees in Ontario. Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Brad Duguid released a new tuition fee policy today that will allow universities to increase tuition fees by three to five per cent every year for the next 4 years. Under this framework, total tuition fee increases under the Liberal government will reach as much as 108 per cent.

"This Liberal government has turned its back on Ontario students and families who are already struggling to pay the highest tuition fees in the country," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "With food bank usage on campus on the rise and an untold number of youth being shut out of accessing a college or university education every year, these increases will put college and university education further out of reach for low- and middle-income Ontarians."

The framework announced today will allow institutions to increase college and undergraduate university tuition fees by three per cent, while tuition fees for graduate, professional and "high demand" college programs will be permitted to increase by five per cent. International student tuition fees will continue to be completely deregulated.

Since 2006, tuition fees have increased as much as 71 per cent in Ontario. Average student debt after a four year degree is now $37,000 for debt from public and private sources. While the Ontario Liberals committed to reducing tuition fees by 30 per cent in the last election, their Ontario Tuition Grant has reached fewer than one-quarter of students in the province.

Last week, students met with more than 60 Members of Provincial Parliament to present students' plan for a new multi-year tuition fee framework that would reduce tuition fees by 30 per cent over three years. The plan included a cost neutral proposal for reducing tuition fees by 17 per cent next year. Read students' recommendations here.

"Students presented government with a reasonable plan to make post-secondary education more affordable in Ontario," said King. "It is disappointing that the government insists on continuing its policy of charging high tuition fees and saddling Ontario's young people with record high levels of student debt."

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents over 300,000 students in all regions of the province. The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest and oldest student organization.

SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson: 416-925-3825 (office) or 647-339-4070 (cell)
Michael Yam, Researcher: 416-925-3825 (office) or 647-218-9267 (cell)

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