CAUS RESPONDS TO THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT'S POST SECONDARY ANNOUNCEMENT
For immediate release January 22, 2019
COUNCIL OF ALBERTA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS RESPOND TO THE ONTARIO GOVERNMENT’S POST-SECONDARY ANNOUNCEMENT
EDMONTON, ALBERTA - Changes to Ontario’s post-secondary system have the potential to hurt students as many will no longer be able to access higher education. A decrease in tuition for students will make university more affordable. However, with announced changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP), the threshold to qualify for non-repayable student aid will go up, meaning less students will have access to this crucial resource.
The Ontario government has also announced plans to allow students to opt out of some fees. While student autonomy is important, allowing students to opt out of fees like those for students’ associations removes vital checks and balances that ensure the province’s post-secondary institutions meet the changing needs of their students.
Both changes may negatively impact the student experience. Student associations bring tremendous value to campuses, and as non-partisan organizations, students’ associations are able to ensure that the student perspective is represented at the highest levels of the institution and to government.
“The bi-partisan support for post-secondary that we saw in late 2018 for Bill 19 was incredible. The support that students have in Alberta from all political parties serves as a reminder of the economic benefits of a strong post-secondary system,” said Andrew Bieman, Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS). “The tenets of affordability and accessibility, which are supported across the political spectrum in Alberta, must be foundational to the Ontario system to ensure that post-secondary is something that is accessible to everyone.”
Not only have students’ associations have demonstrated high standards of transparency and accountability, they ensure that students are protected from damaging decisions by government and the institutions they attend.
CAUS looks forward to hearing more information from the Ontario Government on its proposed changes and hopes that it will take into account the needs of students.
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The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) represents the interests of students at MacEwan University, Mount Royal University, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and the University of Lethbridge
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