Wednesday, November 4, 2009

DROP FEES for a Poverty-Free Ontario...

The Case for Accessible and Quality Education

-In Febuary 2007 there was a poll done that showed that 75% percent of Ontarians agree that tuition fees should be reduced

-Ontario undergraduate university tuition fees have increased 195% since 1990. Ontario tuition fees are now highest in Canada

-Depending on the program, tuition fees are set to increase anywhere from 20 to 36 percent over four years. The highest tuition fee hikes in Canada

-This is much faster than inflation, It would take 40 years for inflation to catch up to the average undergraduate tuition fee.

-Ontario is ranked last for per-student funding in Canada.

-We are charged high ancillary fees and we face growing class and tutorial sizes, this is also a symptom of underfunding

-There has been a steady decline of provincial and federal funding for post-secondary education over the last 20 years. This has resulted in the provincial government and individual university and college administrations replacing the lost funding with tuition fees and other user fees. In the early 1990s, user fees accounted for an average of 21 per cent of an institution’s operating budget. Today user fees cover almost 50 per cent of the institution’s budget.

-Ontario's policy of tuition fee increases is a political choice that the government has made, and it deviates from other provinces that have frozen and reduced tuition fees. In fact, some countries such as Ireland, Brazil, Sweden ,and many more, do not charge any tuition fees for education.

-the main barrier to education is still tuition fees despite OSAP. “Researchers at the University of Guelph found that 40% fewer students from low-income families were attending University after tuition fees rose.” –Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

-The average student graduates with a debt of $30 000 dollars after and undergrad degree

All this and still our education is compromised!! U of Guelph cut a bunch of programs just last year including WOMEN'S STUDIES and is planning on cutting ORGANIC AGRICULTURE. Everywhere we look, they are cutting can't be for lack of funds given our tuition hikes. STOP POCKETING OUR MONEY BITCHES!!

The Recession Question

-According to a Statistics Canada report released earlier today students aged 15-24 faced the second highest summer unemployment rate on record at 19.2%, furthering concerns that many students will not have enough money to make it through the year.

-Most economists project a continued rise in unemployment over the next year and next summer things could be worse

-$3.3 billion Cdn, was the bailout offered to the auto industry last year by the federal and provincial government in December of last year. A similar amount is what it would cost to eliminate tuition for 2009! Student debt is a total of $13 billion in Canada. Where’s our bailout?!

-70% of job postings require post-secondary education

This last point makes it obvious how tuition fees are contributing to the cycling and worsening of poverty. With the price of everything escalating, and more and more costs falling on bottom majority, how can one get a job if they can't afford to go to school? If a person has access and chooses to take out loans, they will face years of paying off a debt, continuing the cycle of financial stress.

This situation is worse for women, who make on average half of what men make. And if you are a non-white woman, the average is less (non-white men make on average more than white women, but less than white men). Taking that with the fact that unemployment is much higher for non-white people, we see the same cycles perpetuating themselves. These groups will likely take much longer to pay back their loans, if they are so fortunate to land a decent paying job. This results in more interest accumulation which means that they pay MORE than white males for the same education.

Food for thought. If you are interested for more check out the Canadian Federation of Students and participate in your local NOV 5 DAY OF ACTION festivities.