Despite Hard Economic Times, Tuition Fees Rise Faster Than Inflation

OTTAWA, Oct. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - Tuition fees rose for over ninety per cent of college and university students this year, according to a report released by Statistics Canada today.

"Students and their families are being forced to bear the burden of paying for education more than ever before," said Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "By increasing tuition fees in a time of economic crisis, provincial governments are failing students."

According to the report, tuition fees rose by 3.6% on average to $4,917, the same increase as the previous year. By comparison, inflation declined 0.8% this year, whereas last year it increased by 3.5%. Tuition fees are currently the single largest expense for most college and university students and are increasing more rapidly than any other cost faced by students and far faster than inflation. Tuition fees vary widely from province to province with students in Québec paying just over one third of those in neighbouring Ontario.

"A student's ability, not their geography should determine whether they go to college or university," said Giroux-Bougard. "In the absence of a national vision for post-secondary education, the federal government cannot ensure that students across the country have equitable access to higher education."

The Canadian Federation of Students has been calling for a Post-Secondary Education Act that establishes guidelines for funds transferred to the provinces for post-secondary education. Federal legislation could ensure accountability and create national standards for the quality and accessibility of Canada's universities and colleges.

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation. It is composed of over 80 university and college students' associations with a combined membership of over one half million students in all ten provinces.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson at (613) 261-7528

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