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McGuinty’s solutions aren’t in China

Tuition out-of-control, system unstable, and Ontario wants to bring in more students


 

A series of tweets earlier today from Ontario MPP Jim Wilson make a valid point about the direction Premier Dalton McGuinty is taking post-secondary education in the province.

In Hong Kong on Wednesday, the premier announced the new Ontario Trillium Scholarship, which will see 75 international students receive $40,000 annually for four years to study towards a post-doctorate in Ontario. New students will be added each year, with 300 receiving the scholarship at the program’s height. Taxpayers will be shelling out $20 million of the $30-million project, while universities are planning to kick in the rest.

“Foreign students win while Ontario students get left behind. McGuinty has clearly lost touch,” tweeted Wilson, the Progressive Conservative critic for colleges, universities, research and innovation. “While Ontario families struggle to pay for school, electricity, auto insurance and sales tax hikes, the McGuinty Government is focussed on paying the tuition of students who don’t even live in this country, let alone this province.”

Both the PCs and the provincial NDP are calling on the government to scrap this program immediately. NDP leader Andrea Horwath says the program is unfair to Ontario students.

“It’s quite disconcerting,” she told the Toronto Sun, adding that Ontario students already pay the highest fees in the country. “I have concerns when we have students here in Ontario that are not able to access post-secondary education because of the skyrocketing cost . . . I think [the program] needs to be reviewed.”

This new program is not only a slap in the face to students studying in the province, but it’s also an insult to the taxpayers. Rather than educate the next generation of Ontarians, McGuinty’s program is saying that bringing in international students, who may or may not stick around long enough to contribute to the economy, is more important.

McGuinty’s Liberals just authorized universities to raise tuition by five per cent per year for the next two years. That’s more than twice inflation. Costs for post-secondary students in the province are spiralling out of control, and all the government can think to do is inject more students into an unstable system.

If Dalton wants to help post-secondary education in Ontario, he would be better off investing that money in reducing costs for all students and introducing legislation that will help curb steadily rising costs to students, which have risen 60 per cent in the past ten years, and more than 380 per cent in the past twenty years.

The system is broken, and it’s going to take more than a few dozen foreign students to fix it.

Photo: Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, Canadian Press


 

McGuinty’s solutions aren’t in China

  1. This is the reason McGuinty has to go. He has lost touch with people who are over taxed and under supported. It is time to go McGuinty.

  2. It`s not all bad Jim.
    Remember McGuinty is “protecting” Post Secondary Students from puppies and using tax dollars that could be going to Education to do it.
    Students should be “grateful” that he`s got his priorities straight.

    ROFL

    http://www.stopcanineprofiling.com/

  3. What a xenophobic and short-sighted article! There are over 400,000 university students in Ontario. (75 students x 40k scholarship x 4 years) / 400k students = a whopping 30$ of tuition per student!

    On the other hand, the scholarship would attract the best and brightest POST-DOCTORATE students — that means students who already have Ph.Ds! — who will most likely contribute enormously toward academic research in Ontario!

    In fact, it is utterly ridiculous to compare undergraduate students with post-doctorate students!

  4. Solar writes “On the other hand, the scholarship would attract the best and brightest POST-DOCTORATE students …who will most likely contribute enormously toward academic research in Ontario!”

    As if Ontarians aren’t bright enough we have to import foreigners?!
    Do you think I want my tax dollars footing the bill to educate foreigners while I struggle to put my daughter through the system?

    This is like giving $7 billion dollars to Korean energy industries while Ontario is starving for jobs with the highest unemployment rate in the country.

    For crying out loud, how much abuse do we taxpayers have to suffer under these bloody McGuinty liberals????

    ANYONE BUT MCGUINTY IN 2011!

  5. Mcguinty is just a miasma of foresight.

  6. “McGuinty’s Liberals just authorized universities to raise tuition by five per cent per year for the next two years. That’s more than twice inflation…costs have risen 60 per cent in the past ten years…”

    Enough said! The liberals have turned education (and hydro) into a luxury for the rich!

  7. Oh come on!! Seriously????? We have our own people desperately seeking education and we have own people unemployed and not able to afford to retrain for things!!! Bring in more problems????? spend money that was given to benefit ontarians on other nations???????? This man is insane and needs to be replaced before he does more damage.

    He even has municipal hydro paying money to Liberal people campaigns… again our money at work! This is beyond ignorance! Why aren’t there laws in place to prevent this?

  8. The comments here show just how ignorant most people are about issues, and how the media plays on that ignorance.

    FACT: Foreign national students pay 3 TIMES the amount of tuition as a Canadian student. That means for each foreign student that enrolls, the university could afford to pay the tuition of 2 ontario students!

    Those 75 scholarships are aimed toward raising the international profile of Ontario universities, and thus attracting more foreign students.

    —–
    Solar writes “On the other hand, the scholarship would attract the best and brightest POST-DOCTORATE students …who will most likely contribute enormously toward academic research in Ontario!”

    As if Ontarians aren’t bright enough we have to import foreigners?!
    Do you think I want my tax dollars footing the bill to educate foreigners while I struggle to put my daughter through the system?
    —–

    You obviously have no clue how scholarships work, or what POST-DOCTORATE means.

    There are plenty of Ontario scholarships out there. Those are used to attract the brightest Ontario students. Giving out more such scholarships won’t attract more bright students: it will just lower the bar for scholarship qualification!

    On the other hand, offering scholarships to foreign nations WILL attract the brightest students of that nation, who will then come and contribute to OUR society through their academic research.

    This brings me to my second point: A POST-DOCTORATE IS NOT AN UNDERGRADUATE!! Where the undergraduate is there to get an education, a Post-Doctorate student is there primarily to do research! Post-Doctorate is like a job, and at 40k a year, not a very high-paying job either, for the amount of work they have to do!

  9. You are very welcome to your opinions on the matter however… equal ignorance could be placed on your assumptions…. FACT as you so eloquently state…. that 3 times the amount of money for those students will be coming out of our pockets…. Fact…. that money is not being spent on those who need it most already residing here. Fact… those spaces in those programs tend to be limited and thus are taking those away from our own citizens. As a person who works at a university here I can add tonssssssssss more. But fact…. information given in a vacuum is seldom heard.

    There is a time when a country needs to focus on its own peoples. There is a time when protectionism and Isolationism can benefit a state.

    Yes… they will contribute to the knowledge base… as they would by attending their own universities in their own countries as well. That is the nature of shared scientific knowledge… the internet…. professional organizations…. magazines…. papers…. libraries etc.

    Fact… we need to concentrate on building up our own citizens in order to present more of a skilled worker pool internationally.

    Fact building other nations skilled base is only short term gain for educational institutions already raising tuition rates well above the necessary levels.

    The contributing of those intelligent people and others from around the world and in this neck of the woods…can be done in professional conferences and such that can be held every so often and generate more monetary gain across a greater spectrum.

    Fact continuing along this path merely further creates a much larger rift between the rich and the poor thereby facilitating a 3rd world work force here rather than one that pays the amount of respect and value to those toiling in all respective fields.

    Fact… using the word Fact is very irritating and kind of tiresome.

    Fact I am done wasting my time on this as the *facts* have been presented.

  10. McGuinty has got to go, all there is to it. This guy is abusing his power and has a public be dammed attitude. I have two daughters who want to attend University but have been denied tuition because they currently have jobs. How absurd is that. The idea is to go to school, University, full time, therefore they need to quit these jobs to do so but the Government just don’t understand the concept.
    Furthermore, McGuinty stated we need professional immigrants in Ontario, so I’m assuming the immigrants coming here for the past 20 years are not. Guess we’ve been lied to again (surprise) cause both the Provincial and Federal keep telling us year after year that we bring in nothing but the best through Immigration. Yeah right.

  11. An average cadadian has become more of a countryside boy, retrospective, simple but ignorant

    That’s why Harper is on the stage; that’s why canada becomes irrelevant to the rest of the world

    That’s why more and more White people are sitting on appartment buildings drinking cheap bear on governmental money talking about native people and new immigrants and feeling really good

    That’s why we still call Queen our head of state

    Canada is still kid whose intellectual capacity and mentality is better representive by a bell canada or rogers technician working on the field.

    Yes, we are second tiered country, happily thinking we are the top tier country next to US

    Is US always the first one; yes we have never argued that; how can a countryside boy argues about that

  12. Maybe it’s time for a nonconfidence vote ! Get him out of there!

  13. Ahhh, FINALLY, we get to the MEAT of this matter.

    Root Canadian brings up some VERY solid points! Lets go over them, shall we?! :

    R.C:”That’s why Harper is on the stage; that’s why canada becomes irrelevant to the rest of the world”

    Retort: Harper is on the stage because he has been elected by the Canadian people to represent them. Yes, I understand many newcomers are “foreign” to the notion of a representative democracy. Canada irrelevant to the rest of the world? Funny how quickly that changes when you have a war, famine or disaster, I might put forth.

    R.C: “That’s why more and more White people are sitting on appartment buildings drinking cheap bear on governmental money talking about native people and new immigrants and feeling really good”

    Retort: Showing your racism clear as day, your hilariously hypocritical statement simply shows that we are picking no better in those we are welcoming as newcomers. Every country has racists, unfortunately we are bringing more in. Those ‘white people’ are probably working menial jobs and seeing high-profile advancement opportunities being given exclusively to non-taxpayers. That’s a pretty solid foundation for talking about other people and drinking cheap beer, if you ask me.

    R.C: “That’s why we still call Queen our head of state”

    Retort: Yes, in a constitutional monarchy, which Canada IS, we DO INDEED call the Queen our head of state. Of course, it really is expecting to much for those we so joyfully welcome as new Canadians to actually LEARN, RESPECT and VALUE our history. Isn’t it?

    Now, beyond those fairly clear (and clearly misguided) statements, Root Canadian really just put forth a bunch of fluff, but in doing so he shows us something VERY VERY IMPORTANT, that our political leadership has been forgetting for decades.

    The judgement of humanity rests not on education, or financial capacity–and the contribution an individual can make to our communities, our provinces and our country cannot be measured by degrees.

    As we spend millions of dollars that we do not have, vainly trying to attract another bunch of foreign nationals who have nothing but selfish goals, we need to start asking ourselves:

    At what point do we say enough is enough and realize that there is a distinct tendency towards racism, selfishness, and outright character flaws in the upper castes of other cultures, that do not coincide with Canadian goals and values?

  14. It’s funny how no one has addressed these key facts:

    1- A Post-doctorate student actually works for the university doing research. In any other setting, he would be called an “employee” and not a “student”. $40k is a pretty modest salary to attract top-notch workers for ANY field!

    2- Foreign students pay much higher tuition than Canadian students. Attracting more foreign students is very profitable for the university.

    3- There are plenty of existing scholarships in Ontario and at the federal level. Those attract the best Canadian students. However, attracting the brightest students with scholarships and providing affordable education to more students via programs such as OSAP are two completely different, but equally important goals! Turning scholarship money into tuition loans or rebates will not raise the academic standard of our universities!

    It seems that ignorant people are more interested in raging and wailing at a scapegoat for an economic circumstance that is caused by an American financial crisis, than looking at issues and thinking critically. Then again, what can you expect from sheep?

  15. I am disgusted to think that we have offered to pay for students from China to go school on our hard earned Canadian dollars. This is a slap in the face to all the Canadian children who will have to work their hearts out to achieve this. Because of all the raises in tuitions it is harder every year. I think our government needs to start thinking and carinfg about the Canadian people they are supposed to be working for. Our generosity is making us a laughing stock. The rights of everyone coming into th ths country is being put above ours, yet they have donated nothiing, put take everything. In all my life I have never been ashamed to be a Canadian, but I am appalled and disgusted with this government. PUT THE CANADIANS FIRST. or get OUT

  16. I cannot believe this. What about helping Canadians. They work hard pay taxes put their children through school and oh my god pay their way. And oh don’t help Canadians trying to get an Ontario Disability Hearing or a Workers Compensation claim through. Instead let them loose their homes first. That would be too logicalto help Canadians. Stop this madness and email that idiot and let him know how wrong this is.

  17. I think this program is absurd! I am a full time undergraduate student, working part-time because OSAP will not cover all of my tuition fees and provide me with some spending money. But, now since I am working, they’ve decided to give me less money!?

    I don’t work that much! I work 2x a week!
    SO, sure let’s bring people from other countries and finance their education. I will finance that education with the taxes that I am paying.. coz I have so much money.

    This money that they are investing in foreigners can be given to families/children in need for an education. Canadians!! Not foreigners.

    p.s. I would like to point out that I am not being racists. I am coloured myself- I just don’t think we should invest in educating people from other countries when ppl in our country are struggling to get an education.

  18. People, seriously, LEARN TO READ.

    These are POST-DOCTORAL researchers, people who have already earned PhDs elsewhere in the world; they are NOT undergraduates going for a first degree, or even graduate students learning to do research. Nobody’s subsidizing a giant cohort of Chinese students. These are trained researchers, and we’re only taking the top 75 applicants every year. These people are going to be coming from the very top of their doctoral graduation classes from across Europe, India, Africa and, yes, East Asia. Attracting the world’s brightest engineers into a geographically close area is how technological powerhouses like the Silicon Valley got their starts and have been sustained their economic dominance over the past 15 years. Bringing together the world’s brightest artists is how New York has been a cultural mecca for over 100 years. Bringing together the world’s brightest medical scientists is how the Mayo clinic has consistently driven top-notch medical research. The thing that’s great about these kinds of communities is that, once established, you don’t need to pay bright people to come; they’ll just want to come anyway, given what’s going on in there field there.

    Of course, the question isn’t if it’s a good idea to bring in smart people, it’s at what cost to do so. Here’s a thought: the average government bureaucrat certainly makes over $40K, and most bureaucrats probably wouldn’t be accurately described as among the world’s very brightest people. That’s not to say they are intellectual incompetents, just that most of them probably aren’t in the top 1% worldwide. If there is a price to be paid for attracting that kind of talent, perhaps $40K isn’t so unreasonable a price to pay. Perhaps.

    Anyhow, it’s all good and well to have a debate about what governments should or should not fund; but let’s actually have the debate about what’s going on, instead of what poor readers with megaphones have understood is going on.

  19. GDL: Thank you! Finally someone who actually understands the issue!

  20. I think people need to learn the difference between a POSTDOC (who is NOT student) and an UNDERGRAD before they pop out their megaphones.

    But at least this goes to show how ignorant some politicians really are. What you don’t know the difference between an undergrad and a postdoc? Really?

  21. Perhaps the problem is not if people understand what a post doc is…. Perhaps the problem resides more with where the money is being expended. And that is not where the people need it. Hydro bills expected to go up in excess of 50%. People who can not find work to live much less afford to fund their own post doc work. Taxation that is out of control.

    And paying foreign tuition, we will be footing the bill for that. Not them.So That’s great… we are bring over all these people from everywhere else to pay even more for educating them. And even if the government got a break on the cost, what about those already here paying that amount?

    Regardless what titles you put on it. It is money that can not be used to help those that need it most in our province. It is not helping those the money was intended for.

    We need to insure that the needs are met for those residing within our borders before we ever extend ourselves further outwards. We can not carry the world. We need to first have a firm solid foundation here. Food, Shelter, Health Care that works, Education (at all levels) Jobs… For Ontarians. Failure to do so means that we will be unable to support the infrastructure and we will continue to deteriorate.

    The math is not difficult. It doesn’t take a PostDoc to it. Yet, it is sad to see so many lacking the ability to do it. Immediate needs must seen before plans that extend outward. Federal Programs like CIDA already help externally. Provincial money should be spent provincially. I am sad to see that our education system has so badly failed so many that they can not even see that a strong foundation is needed before you build. Very sad and very disappointing to witness this.

  22. now sad:

    Do you have any idea how much money universities make from foreign students? Even discounting the academic contributions of top-notch Post-Doc researchers that are clearly worth more than 40k a year, this act of raising Ontario university profiles, this MARKETING STRATEGY, has the potential to bring in tens of thousands of foreign students to Ontario, who in turn would inject BILLIONS of dollars into the local economy.

    Every successful business knows the value of marketing. Why do you think large corporations spend millions and billions on publicity? How often does government money have the potential to turn a profit? That so many people oppose this clearly win-win investment shows just how ignorant and short-sighted the mass is.

  23. Solar,

    I would very much prefer to have our tax dollars spent on our students, and not on students. If we lose out on some top notch research, then so be it. Government should be seeking make the high education experience better for its constituents, and I don’t think this is necessarily the way to do it.

    McGuinty must GO!

  24. Stevie,

    Where do you think tax dollars come from? Foreign students that inject billions into the economy also generate hundreds of millions in tax revenue!

  25. I’m going to vomit.

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