TORONTO, Nov. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Proposals being put forward by Liberal leadership candidate Glen Murray will result in more students taking on larger debt loads and allow tuition fees to skyrocket. Murray announced his candidacy for the Liberal leadership yesterday, one day after his resignation from his position as Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
"There is nothing new about Murray's plans to saddle youth with a lifetime of student debt," says Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Murray's proposals will exacerbate the detrimental impacts of policies under the current Liberal government that have allowed tuition fees to increase by as much as 71 per cent and student debt to balloon."
Under Murray's planned program, students would take on higher debt loads and face longer repayment periods, resulting in significantly larger interest costs over the life of the loan. The government would partner with banks to loan college students $5,000 per year and university students $10,000 per year for tuition fees, with repayment terms tied to income. The proposal indicates that students and graduates with lower incomes will be in repayment for as long as 25 years.
Similar income-contingent loan schemes in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia have been paired with tuition fee increases as high as 500 per cent in a single year. In New Zealand, male students now take an average of 15 years to repay their loans, but women take on average 28 years. In Canada and Ontario, several attempts to implement comparable loan programs in the nineties failed because of widespread opposition from banks and students.
"Instead of reviving failed and destructive policy experiments that would exacerbate inequality in Ontario, the Liberals must focus on ensuring all Ontarians can attend college or university by reducing tuition fees immediately," said King.
For more information on income contingent loan schemes, see the Federation's factsheet.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students