TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Ontario students are calling on the provincial government to address the crisis facing youth and students by reducing tuition fees for all students in the 2014 Ontario Budget, instead of investing in ineffective programs including the Ontario Tuition Grant.
"Ontario students are facing the highest tuition fees in the country, record levels of student debt, a dismal job market and a lack of access to necessities like transportation," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Without government investment in post-secondary education and youth employment, we risk bankrupting a generation."
Students are recommending the Ontario government redirect funding for the Ontario Tuition Grant and provincial education tax credits to reduce tuition fees by 16 per cent for all students, including international students and students in professional programs, in 2014. Students' plan would see further investments in post-secondary education to reduce tuition fees an additional 14 per cent by 2016-2017, the end of the current tuition fee framework.
The provincial government came under fire this week after extending the Ontario Tuition Grant to students attending private career colleges. Currently, less than one third of students can access the grant and last year only 77 per cent of eligible students received it.
"Accessing a college or university education should not be comparable to a game of extreme couponing," said Woods. "Instead of forcing students to navigate a complicated bureaucracy, students have a plan that would reduce tuition fees for all students."
Students are also calling for a province-wide review of ancillary fees, ending unpaid work terms in the public sector, improving access to graduate studies, and investing in public transit across the province.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is appearing before the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs today in North Bay. The written submission made by students can be found here.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario is the province's largest student organization, representing more than 300,000 college and university students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario
For further information:
Kaley Kennedy, Communications Coordinator: (416) 925-3825 (office) or [email protected]