TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Yesterday's release of the Ontario
Progressive Conservative Caucus white paper entitled Paths to Prosperity: Higher Learning for Better Jobs has students in Ontario concerned. While students agree that the rising
cost of higher education in Ontario has not been accompanied by an
increase in the quality of education they receive, they believe that
many of the paper's recommendations fail to adequately address, and may
in fact increase, barriers to access and affordability in Ontario.
"Although Paths to Prosperity: Higher Learning for Better Jobs recognizes that rising tuition has not been accompanied by an increase
in quality, it suggests that continued tuition increases are key to
increasing quality," said Alysha Li, President of OUSA. "Students would
like to see quality increases before students and families are asked to
pay for a university education. OUSA is particularly concerned with the
creation of a tiered higher education system," continued Li. "Research
has shown that low-income students display higher tendencies to be
price sensitive. To create a tuition deregulated elite tier of
universities, even with increased financial aid, will result in a
decrease in the number of low-income students attending these
"OUSA is also concerned about the proposal to create a merit-based
financial aid system," said Rylan Kinnon, Executive Director of OUSA.
"As the cost of tuition increases, more and more students find
themselves working longer hours to fund their education. With less time
available for their academic pursuits, students' performance can
suffer. If a struggling student has their financial assistance reduced,
they will be forced to work even longer hours in study, which can only
further hinder their academic performance."
Students are, however, in support of providing more opportunities and
incentives for the creation teaching-focused faculty positions at
Ontario universities. Since the 1980s, teaching loads have decreased
from an average of three courses per academic year to under two courses
per academic year. Although students support teaching-focused faculty,
they also recognize the importance of research to an undergraduate
education and believe that even teaching-focused faculty should still
have part of their time devoted to research that is then integrated
into the classroom experience.
"Over the past decade, tuition in Ontario has risen 28.1 per cent in
real dollars, outpacing the 8.56 per cent increase to median family
income and the rate of inflation," said Kinnon. "While the Ontario PC
Party has recognized that tuition continues to be a serious concern for
students in Ontario, their proposal fails to address the root of this
problem. A more affordable and fair tuition framework, coupled with
increased financial aid, is the most equitable and economical approach
to address barriers to access and affordability in Ontario's
About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
OUSA represents the interests of over 155,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at nine member
associations across Ontario.
SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
For further information:
or to arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Sloan, Director of Communications.
T: (416) 341-9948