TORONTO, March 8, 2012 /CNW/ - Ontario's students are disappointed that the Government of Ontario has announced today that the current tuition framework has been extended for the 2012-13 academic year. This means that average tuition will increase by 5 per cent this fall for the seventh year in a row, leaving Ontario with the highest fees and lowest per-student government funding in the country yet again.
"In uncertain economic times, the government and post-secondary institutions should be removing barriers to higher education by increasing public investment and exercising restraint. Instead, students will evidently be left to foot the bill," said Sean Madden, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). "Increasing tuition fees at well above the rate of inflation is not a sustainable future for Ontario's students and families."
The proportion of university operating costs borne by students has increased dramatically over the past three decades from 19 per cent to 48 per cent in 2011. With this new tuition increase, students will contribute more to university operating costs next year than the government for the first time in the history of the province.
OUSA has been advocating for a tuition framework that would provide long-term predictability, stop downloading costs onto students and tackle a variety of other concerns, including deferral fees for not meeting unfair payment deadlines and flat-fee schemes that punish students who take reduced course loads. The government's new moratorium on deferral fees and flat-fee schemes is welcome news; however, regulations that set fair payment deadlines and require institutions to charge equally for each credit are the necessary next steps.
"The government's recent investment in tuition grants was a step forward in building an accessible and affordable post-secondary education system. However, today's announcement was a step back, as this investment is going to be quickly eroded if tuition fees continue to increase by five per cent each year," continued Madden. "We will continue to work with the government toward the creation of a fair, long-term tuition framework and an enhanced financial aid system."
OUSA represents the interests of over 145,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students from nine student associations.
For further information:
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Alvin Tedjo, OUSA Director of Communications, work: (416) 341-9948, cell: (647) 669-6885, email: [email protected]