OTTAWA, Sept. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - Data release today by Statistics Canada confirms that tuition fees nationwide have increased by an average 3.1 percent to $6,571 for undergraduates, and 1.8 percent to $6,907 for graduate students. A similar pattern is clear on fees for community colleges. At the same time, tuition fees for international students have increased 6.3% to an average of $25,180.
"Today's Statistics Canada report confirms that as students head back to class they are facing higher tuition fees in many part of the country. The time for government action is now," said Coty Zachariah, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Students and families continue to struggle to address mounting student debt, what is needed is direct investment to reduce tuition fees. Today we are renewing our call for serious policy measures to address the consequences of rising tuition fees and student debt."
A larger context for today's announcement is important. Revenues from tuition increases have tripled at universities and community colleges over the past 15 years, and this has led to a sharp rise in student debt (measured at $28 billion in 2012). Debt from the Canada Student Loans program alone is increasing at a rate of 1 million dollars per day. The tuition burden for international students is also far worse as institutions exploit them to address funding cuts. Rising tuition and student debt also worsen Canada's household debt crisis. Today debt in Canada is at 171 percent of income, and policy measures are needed to reduce the burden on working families.
With that in mind the Government of Alberta and the Government of British Columbia have taken action by maintaining its tuition fee freeze for Alberta students in 2017-2018, and announcing the elimination of tuition for adult education respectively.
"High tuition fees and student debt disproportionately impact students from marginalized communities who are more likely to grapple with financial barriers including Indigenous students, racialized students, students with disabilities, student parents, and international students," said Zachairah. "Students believe it is time for genuine renewal in post-secondary education, and that means honouring Treaty obligations to Indigenous learners, eliminating tuition fees, and taking serious measures to reduce student debt."
The Canadian Federation of Students is the oldest and largest national student organization in Canada, representing over 650,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students across the country.
SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students
Renseignements: For more information contact or to arrange an interview: Toby Whitfield, Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-232-7394 (office)