Ontario Students Meet With Minister, Launch Town Halls
TORONTO, Aug. 16, 2012 /CNW/ – This afternoon, students from all across Ontario will be meeting with Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray to provide comments on issues facing students and their solutions for a quality, affordable and equitable system of post-secondary education. Over 100 students from 25 students’ unions will be participating in the meeting.
“Students from Windsor to Thunder Bay want to ensure that Minister Murray understands students’ vision for an affordable, high quality public post-secondary education system in Ontario,” said Chairperson Sarah Jayne King. “Today, they will have a chance to speak to the challenges students on their campuses are facing with high tuition fees, growing class sizes, cuts to important employment and financial aid programs and other important student issues.”
During the last election, the Liberal government promised to reduce tuition fees by 30 per cent. Instead, they introduced a grant with stringent requirements that three quarters of students cannot access. Since 2006, tuition fees have increased as much as 71 per cent, making Ontario the most expensive province to study in. In September, students will see tuition fee increases between five and eight per cent and this past spring, the government also cut funding to nine grant, scholarship, and bursary programs, meaning that for every one dollar invested in students this year, $1.20 is being clawed back.
In June, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities released a discussion paper titled “Strengthening Ontario’s Centres of Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge.” The paper has been the basis for a series of consultations across the province on sweeping changes to the post-secondary education system. Unfortunately, local students’ unions have not been invited to these consultations and the consultations have not addressed the impact of high tuition fees on the college and university system. In response, students will be holding events on campus throughout September to articulate students’ vision of a high quality and equitable post-secondary education system in Ontario.
“Students have seen the impacts of high tuition fees and declining quality first hand and should be at the forefront of any major decisions on the future of post-secondary education,” continued King.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students from Windsor to Thunder Bay.
SOURCE: Canadian Federation of Students