Tuesday reading


Three articles that I read this morning which deserve links.

1) Phase out freeze – Manitoba is reviewing its tuition structure and all sides will be lobbying for various changes. (In the case of the CFS, they prefer no change) In the Business section of the Winnipeg Sun, Chuck Davidson of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce calls on the Manitoba government to lift the freeze and allow Manitoba’s universities to improve. He hopes that after Dr. Levin’s report “the focus will be on providing students with a quality education and not just the cheapest one.”

2) Unis say 18 should be the new 25 – Australian universities want more money, reports The Sydney Morning Herald. That’s not news. All universities wants more money, preferably with less accountably – but that’s not what interests me about this article. The articles notes a few factors hitting Aussie unis which also apply here in Canada. Specifically, governments like to fund new buildings, love to fund research without funds for the infrastructure required to support it, and an expected decrease in enrolment. (It’s worth noting the first two problems are being addressed to some degree in Canada. Ontario just threw $200-million+ into infrastructure renewal this year.)

3) Number of Scots going to university dropping – What? Free tuition does equal increased enrolment? There are other reasons to explain why people do or do not attend university. Don’t tell this to my friends at corporate headquarters on Metcalfe Street – it doesn’t fit with their mass produced placards.

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Tuesday reading

  1. Wow. I’m so shocked (sarcasm) that business hacks are using the old quality argument to argue for tuition fee increases. Of course, the same argument was advanced in Ontario during the 1990s. Then, tuition fees increased magnificently — and quality declined.

    The business hacks should just be honest about their real motives: “We don’t want to pay taxes for high quality social programs, so the government should withdraw funding (and reduce our taxes) and then make students and their families pay more in tuition fees.”

    And, of course, there’s also: “We’d like the government to step back from funding education so that we can pick-and-choose what gets funded through corporate sponsorship and the purchasing of naming rights.”

  2. Wow, Rick hit the nail right on the head on that one. Perhaps these business hacks (of whom a lot of them had the benefit of lower tuition than this generation), if they are so concerned about quality, should be trying to get the government to spend enough on PSE that universities don’t have to whine about “low” tuition. Of course, that would screw with their whole neoliberal agenda, and we can’t have that. Right, Macleans?

  3. The big problem is now we have a cycle. I’ve paid my tuition fees (and thanks to the stupid tuition freeze a massive increase in a few short years instead of small gradual changes that would have allowed for infrastructure to be built) at the current lesser unsubsidized rates.

    I shouldn’t receive fewer after tax dollars to pay off student loans for a new policy of reducing fees for current students – it’s simply not fair to me or anyone in my situation in any way shape or form and I’d vote against it in a heartbeat.

    Keep increases controlled – freeze then huge increase is worse than small increases over time.

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