Canadian Universities. Student Day Of Action. Issues In Feb 2002. Focused On Halifax

2986 words - 12 pages

INTRODUCTIONUniversity tuition fees have been gradually increasing since the early 1990s to make up for reductions in government funding. The increase in these tuition fees for graduate students across Canada is much higher, on average in the 14 percent range. Recent figures form Statistics Canada show that government funding to universities - federal, provincial and municipal government grants and contracts - rose in 1998 for the first time since 10 years ago. Post secondary tuition fees from all around Canada differ drastically form one to the other. For instance, fees are frozen in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Quebec (for Quebec residents only), and at public institutions in British Columbia. Residents of Quebec pay the lowest arts undergraduate tuition fees whereas Nova Scotia arts students face the highest increase this year, and the highest fees (approximately $4000).Countries such as Germany don't apply fees to post secondary education, however, United States of America -for example- have high fees for the education of this kind.A protest has been taken place during the last couple of weeks. Students declared February 6 as a 'Day of Action'. On this day, students from all ten provinces marched and protest high tuition fees and demanded freezes and reductions of them as a solution of post-secondary education system. This action as a whole (student fees and student debt) would be most likely to have an impact in Canada's national economy.What are the advantages for the national economy of having a low or free tuition? What's the impact of student debt? What's the experience of other countries in this field?Taxes go to important social programs that make Canada the clean, safe country it is nowadays. When taxes get cut, university funds drops, and tuition must rise. These fees have risen 134 per cent in the last 10 years. Therefore, education gets limited for a large group of civilians.1Tuition freeze could help and ensure that post secondary institutions around Canada, offer an education to people, without any boundaries (e.g. rich or poor, smart or not). It would also increase the wiliness of students to get enrolled in post secondary education. Moreover, having a lower tuition than the one nowadays, will lead to less high debts. In the studies done on Canada Students Loan, it was clear that a large percentage of students (after graduating) had a very hard time to pay the loans back, this case is the most common for university students. 1The commitment of a low or zero tuition fees is to ensure that a high cost of education wont force students to mortgage their future. Accordingly to Erfan Kazemi (Alma Mater Society president) he says: "We believe the province has a responsibility to ensure there is accessible education for students...a fee adjustment must take into account financial aid and quality indicators". 2They wisely suggest that the government should not limit itself to only one option but be open to several options, to...

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