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Tuition increase okay if services improve; student

Diana Forbes | Interrobang | News | April 3rd, 2006

The strike may be over and classes resuming, but college students around the province still have to face the upcoming increase education costs.

Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities announced recently that the average Ontario college student will see a tuition increase of “about $100”, while University students have to pay an additional $200 towards their tuition in September.

“If [the quality of education] was better I would pay more, but if it doesn't get any better, I don't want to waste my money,” said first year photography student Alina Lynds.

The government promises the new money taken from students will be used to improve the quality of education in Ontario.

“We aim to give the best postsecondary education possible,” Bentley said when he announced the hike. “But more needs to be done to enhance quality.”

The government listed the hiring of more faculty, support staff, administration as well as projected quality improvements. Bentley also said the new money will be used to enhance resources, update labs, new IT equipment and expanded library acquisitions.

But second-year Fanshawe marketing student, Lina Kadoury believes there are larger issues that need to be solved concerning her postsecondary education.

“I think some teachers have experience because of their jobs they have had, but they don't know how to teach,” said Kadoury, who explained that it's not the quality of education that needs to change, but the quality of the teachers.

Kadoury said if the tuition hike addressed that problem she would be in favour.

Paddy Musson, Fanshawe faculty member and Chair of OPSEU's College Academic Division, said she thinks the government is making a mistake by increasing student's expenses.

“We don't support the increase in tuition,” she said. “In fact we think it's a move in the wrong direction.”

Musson said the union has a long-term goal of abolishing student tuition all together.

“We think that elementary, high school is necessity. You can't get a job without a college education either, so all these levels of education should be accessable to everyone,” she explained.

Larry Enns, an instructor in the landscape design program, said he wouldn't mind paying more taxes, as long as the government could ensure postsecondary education was delivered at the lower rate.

Although Musson agreed that the Ontario government is moving in the right direction by addressing quality within the postsecondary educational system, she said they shouldn't have passed the expense onto the students.
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