Students support faculty call for increased post-secondary education funding,
reduced tuition fees

TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - Students support the recommendations made in a report commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) released today, which finds that Ontario post-secondary institutions rely too heavily on tuition fees and are badly in need of increased government funding.

"Students are paying more and getting less for their education," said Shelley Melanson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "If the McGuinty government were to implement these recommendations, the accessibility and quality of Ontario's post-secondary education system would significantly improve."

One of the recommendations made by the report is that tuition fees be reduced to constitute no more than 25 percent of university operating revenue, and that government funding for post-secondary education be increased. Currently, student fees constitute 58 percent of universities' operating revenue, according to government data.

Ontario ranks second-highest in undergraduate tuition fees, highest in graduate tuition fees, highest in tuition fees as a percentage of university revenue and lowest in provincial funding as a percentage of total university income.

"In tough economic times it is more important than ever to ensure the post-secondary education system is properly funded, in a stable and predictable manner," said Melanson. "This report finds that the current policy of five percent annual tuition fee increases amounts to annual tax increases for students. Students need action from government to ensure this reliance on students to fund post-secondary education, stops."

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university students studying at public post-secondary institutions across the province. Students are planning rallies across Ontario on November 5, 2009 to call for government investment in lower fees and new investments in social programs aimed at reducing poverty.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information: For further information: Shelley Melanson, CFS-Ontario Chairperson, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 882-9927 (cell); Joel Duff, CFS-Ontario Organiser, (416) 925-3825 or (416) 707-0349 (cell)

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