Student debt isn't stimulating: Students say higher education taxes will hurt economic recovery

    OTTAWA, Feb. 26 /CNW Telbec/ - Students reject recommendations released
yesterday by the Education Policy Institute that include higher tuition fees
and reduced teaching resources. As the Obama administration makes record
investments in higher education, the U.S.-based EPI is recommending that
Canadian students and their families should take on a greater debt burden.
    "This recession was, in part, caused by massive consumer debt. Average
families simply can't afford to pay more for public education," said Katherine
Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students.
"Families need tuition fee relief. Economic recovery will no doubt rely on
affordable education and re-training."
    The report released yesterday by the Education Policy Institute
recommends that, despite Canada's deep recession and unprecedented job losses,
protection from tuition fee increases should be removed to let institutions
generate more revenue.
    Over the past 10 years, Canadian tuition fees have increased at double
the rate of inflation while wages have stagnated. In January, student loans
owed to the federal government alone passed $13 billion and continues to
increase at more than $1 million per day.
    "The Obama administration has committed to massive investments in
post-secondary education. In Canada, we must follow suit and make
high-quality, accessible education one of our top priorities," said
Giroux-Bougard. "As an American consulting firm, we hoped EPI could bring us
the best of U.S. policy, not the worst."
    EPI's recommendations would also undermine the quality of education by
clearing out tenured professors in favour of teachers with less research and
classroom experience.

    The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest students'
organisation. It is composed of more than 80 university and college students'
unions with a combined membership of over one-half million students.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson,
(613) 232-7394, (613) 261-7528 (cell); Ian Boyko, Government Relations
Coordinator, (613) 261-7939 (cell)

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