TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - The Educational Policy Institute report
predicting dramatic tuition hikes in Canada raises an urgent red flag about
the underfunding pressures faced at Ontario's colleges and other institutions.
Ontario's colleges continue to receive the lowest per-student revenues of
any province in Canada and the per-student revenues for colleges in Ontario
are lower than the revenues for both universities and high schools. Most
colleges are struggling to maintain programs.
"Ontario's colleges are committed to accessibility and we believe tuition
should remain affordable," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges
Ontario. "But it is important to be aware of the operating-cost challenges
that colleges face. Governments cannot ignore this problem."
As the demand for college programs increases, particularly in this
current economy, it is becoming impossible to deliver quality programs at
current funding levels. Last month, the colleges experienced a 10 per cent
jump in applications to winter programs.
In their funding submission to the Ontario government this year, the
colleges pointed out they face a funding shortfall of at least $95 million in
2009-10, due to pressures such as the provincially arbitrated salary increase
for full-time faculty. Many colleges are predicting in-year operating deficits
and face cuts to programs.
Franklin said governments recognize the need to address capital pressures
at the colleges and new funding for infrastructure improvements is welcome.
But operating-cost pressures must also be addressed if higher education in
Ontario is to remain accessible to qualified students.
"Higher education and training must be a priority in this economy as
Ontario strives to create a more competitive workforce," Franklin said. "The
Ontario government must address the operating-cost issues in its March 26
For further information:
For further information: Sally Ritchie, Senior Communications Officer,
Colleges Ontario, (416) 596-0744, ext. 242