OTTAWA, Oct. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - Students from across Canada are in Ottawa this week to present MPs and Senators with their vision for improving the quality and accessibility of public post-secondary education.
"With record high levels of student debt and youth unemployment, the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that post-secondary education is accessible in every province," said Adam Awad, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "We need a national plan for post-secondary education to address high tuition fees and the growing crisis of student debt across the country."
Over the past 20 years tuition fees in Canada have increased by over 200 per cent. Tuition fee levels vary widely from province to province with students in Newfoundland and Labrador paying less than one-third of those in Ontario. High tuition fees have resulted in more students taking on larger debt loads to make ends meet. This past year, almost 425,000 students were forced to take out government loans in order to attend college or university. In total, students and graduates owe $15 billion in student loans to the federal government and billions more to provincial governments and private lenders.
Students will meet with Members of Parliament and Senators to outline recommendations to improve the quality and accessibility of college and university education, including reducing student debt in Canada by half and adopting a federal post-secondary education act that sets out a national standard for higher education.
"Students are looking forward to the opportunity to share their proposals with MPs and senators," said Awad. "Now, more than ever, urgent action is needed from the federal government to reduce tuition fees and student debt."
Public Education for the Public Good, the document that outlines students' recommendations, can be downloaded at www.cfs-fcee.ca.
The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more than one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students
For further information:
Adam Awad, Chairperson: 613-232-7394, [email protected]