EPI Report Highlights the Need for a National Framework for Post-Secondary Education

    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - The Educational Policy Institute (EPI)
released a report yesterday which outlined the negative affects the current
recession will likely have on "revenues and expenditures" for the
post-secondary sector. Despite agreeing with EPI's forecast of the affects of
the recession, CASA disagrees with the proposed solutions.
    The report, entitled On the Brink: How the Recession of 2009 Will Affect
Post-Secondary Education, contained several predictions, most of which CASA
agrees with and has been advancing since last November:

    - The recession will cause institutional revenues to decrease, leading to
      inevitable cuts;
    - Enrolments are likely to increase in certain programs, but without
      resource support, the quality of these programs will suffer;
    - A reduction in endowment values will negatively affect the availability
      of institutional needs-based awards, meaning that less aid is available
      to students;
    - The dependence on student aid will increase, as more students have
      difficulty finding work to support their education, and must turn to
      student aid to help fund their education.

    "Our organization agrees with many of the report's predictions", said
Zach Churchill, National Director of the Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations. "The big risk in their argument is that decision-makers will
pick only the ideas they want to hear, and ignore the essence of EPI's
solutions, which is that a considered, holistic approach is needed to fix the
problems our post-secondary education system will likely encounter."
    The report suggests a holistic toolkit to respond to the significant
challenges our PSE system faces and the cautionary tale is that in the past,
governments - whether federal or provincial - have opted to view such measures
as "lists of choices" rather than an interlocking set of necessary measures,
often resulting in worse outcomes for students.
    "It is important not to have a knee-jerk reaction to the report,"
continued Churchill. "While we profoundly disagree with some of EPI's
suggested remedies, the measures that will help preserve and expand our PSE
system in Canada need to be discussed and implemented within a shared
framework of understanding between the different levels of government in
    CASA continues to call for a national dialogue between the federal
government and the provincial and territorial governments on PSE and we
encourage policymakers at all levels to finally engage in a long-overdue
structured framework for solving our nation's education issues.

    The Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA) is a non-partisan,
not-for-profit national student organization composed of 23 student
associations, representing 300,000 students from coast to coast.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview: Jillian Flake,
Public Relations and Communications Officer, Canadian Alliance of Student
Associations, (613) 236-3457 ext. 224, (c) (613) 868-6605, casacomm@casa.ca

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Canadian Alliance of Student Associations

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