TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Ontario universities will endeavour to
protect a quality learning experience for students, despite dual fiscal
challenges of a reduced tuition cap and cuts to operational budgets.
The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) acknowledges the province's
budget deficit and desire to balance affordability for students and
their families with revenue needs for universities, and it appreciates
that the government listened to all those involved as it took this
"While it won't be easy to absorb this reduction to tuition revenue on
top of government funding cuts announced in the last provincial budget,
Ontario universities will continue to put the needs of students first,"
says Alastair Summerlee, COU Chair and President of the University of
Guelph. "Maintaining quality of the learning experience will remain our
Ontario has predominantly a four-year undergraduate degree structure,
and COU President and CEO Bonnie M. Patterson says the government's
decision to provide a four-year tuition framework will allow
universities the predictability needed to plan the best possible
programs for students.
However, Patterson adds that, Ontario universities already receive the
lowest grant funding per student in Canada and, when combined with
tuition, university funding per student remains the lowest.
"The reduction of tuition revenue will be an added challenge in the
coming year. Ontario universities are already the most efficient and
productive in the country, and they will now do everything they can to
find more efficiencies while preserving the quality of education our
students expect and deserve," Patterson says.
Brad Duguid, Ontario's Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities,
announced today a four-year tuition framework that will reduce overall
tuition increases to reflect inflation plus one per cent, moving from
an average of five to three per cent.
Tuition is almost half of all revenue received by Ontario universities.
Today's reduction follows a cut in operating grants by the provincial
government announced in the provincial budget of $40 million in
2013-14, and nearly $80 million the following year.
The government's exceptional student aid program coupled with more than
$700 million in student support offered by universities means average
net tuition paid by students in Ontario is approximately half of the
tuition fee listed.
Once financial aid is factored in, tuition affordability is not a
barrier to accessing a university education in this province.
COU will take time to analyze the full impact of the tuition framework
on quality for students.
COU is a membership organization of Ontario's 20 publicly assisted
universities and the Royal Military College of Canada. It works closely
with the provincial and federal governments to shape public policies
that help universities deliver high-quality programs for students, and
the research and innovation that improves the social, cultural and
economic well-being of Ontarians. Quick Facts:
On average, Ontario Student Assistance Plan recipients pay roughly
half the "sticker price" of tuition.
The Ontario Tuition Grant provides a tuition rebate of $1,680 for
students whose families earn less than $160,000 - about 30 per cent of
Ontario universities provided $779 million in 2011-12 to students for
bursaries and scholarships, compared to approximately $278 million in
Tuition is a critical source of revenue for universities, representing
on average 44 per cent of operating revenue.
Visit the Council of Ontario Universities website at www.cou.on.ca
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CouncilofOntarioUniversities
Follow us on Twitter at @OntUniv
SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities
For further information:
Director, Strategic Communications & Media Relations
T: 416-979-2165 ext. 233