Toronto, ON – On March 29, 2019 the Ontario Government released the policy documents that outline the tuition and ancillary fee frameworks for colleges and universities. Since January 17, students have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Ontario Government’s plan to defund student organizations and provide inadequate funding to post-secondary institutions. Despite this, Premier Ford and Minister Fullerton have forged ahead with their onslaught against colleges and universities in the province, without student consultation.
Since the announcement in January, where Minister Fullerton outlined the Ontario Government’s plan for post-secondary education, she has provided vague responses regarding the implementation of an ancillary fee opt-out process that will defund student organizations, and the impacts of the lack of public funding to supplement the 10 per cent tuition fee reduction. The Framework and Guidelines add limited clarity in the outlining policies that will be detrimental to the future of post-secondary education in Ontario.
The lack of public funding to supplement a 10 per cent tuition fee reduction means colleges and universities will have a budget shortfall of approximately $440 million. Additionally, institutions are now mandated to reserve less for the tuition fee set aside fund, limiting the number of students who will be able to receive support through bursaries, scholarships and work-study programs.
The Ontario Government’s paternal approach to ancillary fees deems some services essential and other non-essential. This so-called “Student Choice Initiative,” will result in a loss of funding for student support services, advocacy, student clubs and on-campus jobs. “The Ontario Government has framed their initiative as being about choice, when in reality, they are making decisions for us”, said Nour Alideeb Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.
Alideeb further urged that, “with these changes scheduled to come into effect come September, students will see a drastic decrease in the quality of their education”. To make up for a lack of funding from the government, institutions will likely increase class sizes by admitting more students, convert full-time faculty to part-time and provide fewer institution-funded support programs. “As a result of changes made to post-secondary education in our province, institutions, students’ unions, clubs and groups on our campuses will be struggling to maintain services with far less resources”, said Alideeb.
The Canadian Federation of Students is the largest post-secondary student organization in the country, representing more than 500,000 students nationally and more than 350,000 provincially. The Federation advocates for universal, tuition-free, public post-secondary education.
For more information contact:
Ian McRae, Government Relations and Policy Coordinator: 416-925-3825 or 306-852-0128
Nour Alideeb, Chairperson: 416-925-3825