Former chair of NL college board calls for free tuition

Ex-CEO says province should use Irish model for post-secondary education


Responding the Educational Policy Institute’s recent proposal that colleges and universities increase tuition fees by up to 25 per cent, a former chairperson of the College of the North Atlantic Board of Governors is instead calling for the implementation of free tuition in Newfoundland and Labrador following the model used for post-secondary education in Ireland.

Vince Withers, former President and CEO of NewTel Communications (now part of Bell Aliant) and an honorary graduand of Memorial University, told a St. John’s talk radio show that he “can’t understand why anyone would call for a dramatic increase in tuition fees”. Withers went on to say that he doesn’t believe that Premier Danny Williams will consider lifting the province’s fee freeze, which has been in place for over a decade.


Former chair of NL college board calls for free tuition

  1. Why charge tuition fees? It’s a no-brainer.

    Which is the best stage of life in which to pay for education? Is it when you haven’t got but are working to get the qualifications to do highly productive work? Is it when all you can earn is $10 an hour and even that takes precious time away from your studies?

    Or is it when you have your training and are earning a good professional salary? Is it when you can afford to pay taxes for education and still live a comfortable life?

    If we are wearing blinders and can see only to blunder our way to the passing of this year’s budget, maybe tuition fees are the way to go, and the higher the better. Yes, let’s provide education to the children of wealthy parents and preserve the class system.

    However, if we are looking to a sustainable society, we can easily see that education needs to be available to everyone who is willing and able to take good advantage of it by achieving high academic standards. This achievement is regardless of the socioeconomic status of their parents. Once these students graduate and begin their professional careers, they will be more than willing to pay for their education by taxation.

  2. I absolutely agree 100% with free tuition . I myself recently had to withdraw from the carpentry program at a local collage where I was attending to get my first year carpentry courses. This province is stating they need more tradespeople to fill the growing demand and retiring baby boomers , well I want to be a carpenter and I love the work but could not get the funding to pay for my tuition therefore I could not continue , Now I have to be a stay at home mom and do nothing because of it . the only jobs around here you can get without some kind of papers are paying 8.50-9.50 an hour . Someone tell me how I am suppose to pay rent , electrical , phone, food , clothing and just the bare necessities making 9.50 an hour in NL. Can’t be done.what are my other options ? to live the rest of my life on welfare which is only draining government more….if collage and university was free here in newfoundland not as many people would be on welfare and more would be paying taxes. So yes make it free and give everyone a fighting chance.

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