Tuition Fee Report Underscores Need for National Leadership

    Fees rise despite federal funding increases

    OTTAWA, Oct. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Tuition fees and student debt are on the
rise again, highlighting the need for national legislation to ensure the
quality and affordability of post-secondary education, says the Canadian
Federation of Students. According to new data published today by Statistics
Canada, average undergraduate tuition fees increased by 3.6% in fall 2008
despite $800 million in new federal funding to the provinces for
post-secondary education.
    "In the absence of a Post-Secondary Education Act, the federal
government's latest education investment has had no impact for most Canadian
students," said Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson of the Canadian
Federation of Students. "Canadians deserve to see a benefit from these federal
investments, but without legislation similar to the Health Act, federal
post-secondary education funding is going to waste."
    Health care--another shared jurisdiction--is partially funded by the
federal government and guided by the Canada Health Act, which provides a clear
vision for the program.
    The Canadian Federation of Students has been calling for a Post-Secondary
Education Act that establishes guidelines for funds transferred to the
provinces for post-secondary education. Federal legislation could provide
clarity and ensure that families derive a benefit from new federal spending in
the area of post-secondary education.
    "As the economy continues to slow down, higher education and re-training
will be critical to minimising the impact on low- and middle-income families,"
said Giroux-Bougard. "Canada's economic health depends on affordable
post-secondary education."

    The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student
organisation. It is composed of over 80 university and college students'
associations with a combined membership of over one half million students.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Giroux-Bougard, National Chairperson,
(613) 232-7394 ext. 21; Ian Boyko, Government Relations Coordinator, (613)
232-7394 ext. 22

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