TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Students are calling on the government to focus on making college and university more affordable and accessible in advance of a student roundtable organized by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities today. The roundtable follows a discussion paper on sweeping changes to the post-secondary education system the Ministry released in June.
"Students in Ontario pay the highest fees in the country, are taking on record levels of debt and sit in the largest classes in Canada, but the government is refusing to tackle student debt or underfunding at colleges and university in this process," said Sarah Jayne King, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Today, students are sending a clear message to government: focus on dropping fees for all students and ensuring that the Ontario colleges and universities are able to offer students a high quality education."
On Wednesday, data released by Statistics Canada revealed that for the fourth year in a row, students in Ontario are paying the highest tuition fees in Canada. Per-student funding for colleges and universities in Ontario is also the lowest in the country resulting in the largest student-faculty ratios. The Ministry's discussion paper specifically excludes a discussion on the affordability of colleges and universities and statements from Minister Glen Murray at roundtables this summer indicate the government is looking to cut funding.
"Record high tuition fees continue to put college and university out of reach for many willing and qualified Ontarians," said King. "Students will continue to advocate for their vision of a more equitable system where all Ontarians can access a high quality, affordable, public post-secondary education."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students
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