Ontario students provide blueprint to improve our post-secondary education system

    TORONTO, Dec. 5 /CNW/ - College and university students from across the
province have united to tell the provincial government that investing in
post-secondary education is the fundamental building block of a prosperous and
just society. Highlighting Education, a joint submission by the College
Student Alliance (CSA) and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
to the provincial government, provides a clear blueprint for improving the
post-secondary education system in Ontario.
    Highlighting Education addresses the accessibility, affordability and
quality of Ontario's post-secondary system. The recommendations provided in
the report are imperative to a PSE system that will enable Ontario to become a
leader in learning.
    "A better educated, highly-skilled workforce is essential to the health
of Ontario's economy," said Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy for the
College Student Alliance. "Just as important, however, is ensuring that every
willing and qualified student is able to attend college or university without
being prevented from doing so due to financial barriers."
    Ontario's colleges and universities continue to fall behind the national
average in terms of funding. The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is
still not adequately meeting the financial challenges faced by students. These
two factors are crippling the ability of our system to fulfill its commitment
to Ontarians. In recognition of these challenges, the CSA and OUSA have
developed the following solutions:

    -   The Ontario government creates an OSAP Task Force mandated to
        undertake a holistic review of the student financial assistance
        system in Ontario
    -   OSAP cost assessment is changed to better reflect the cost of post-
        secondary education in our province
    -   Interest rates on student loans be reduced
    -   Funding for post-secondary institutions be increased to at least the
        national average
    -   The Ontario government undertake a review of the current tuition

    "University and college students recognize that Ontario's post-secondary
system has reached a critical juncture," said David Simmonds, President of the
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. "If this government fails to invest in
post-secondary education, they are failing to invest in Ontario."

    OUSA represents the interests of over 130,000 professional and
undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven institutions
across the province and the CSA currently represents 16 colleges and 23
student associations with over 109,000 full-time student members throughout
the province.

For further information:

For further information: David Simmonds, President of OUSA, cell (519)
932-0018, (416) 341-9948; Tyler Charlebois, Director of Advocacy for the CSA,
(416) 340-1212; Chris Locke, Executive Director of OUSA, (416) 341-9948

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Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

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College Student Alliance

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