TORONTO, March 27, 2014 /CNW/ -Today's announcement that the government is seeking proposals for new university campuses in Ontario will not address mounting financial barriers facing Ontario students.
"Opening a campus in a student's hometown doesn't change whether or not that student can afford to pay tuition fees," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "We need to ensure that comprehensive post-secondary education is not only available, but affordable, in all regions of the province."
Average undergraduate and graduate tuition fees in Ontario are the highest in the country and the Ontario government spends less per student than any other provincial government. Since 2006, tuition fees have increased by as much as 80 per cent and will have more than doubled for some programs by 2016-17.
The call for proposals for new university campuses in underserved areas is part of the Ontario government's plan to increase university spaces. Proposed campuses are required to be able to accommodate immediate enrollment of 1,000 students with the potential for that enrollment to increase to 5,000 to 10,000 over the next 20 years.
"Despite acknowledging that the future of our province relies on access to post-secondary education, the provincial government is unwilling to address the high tuition fees that block many Ontarians from attending a college or university," said Woods.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the largest student organization in the province, representing more than 350,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students from Windsor to Thunder Bay.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
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Kaley Kennedy, Communications and Government Relations Coordinator, 416-925-3825