Today, students from Memorial University of Newfoundland to the University of British Columbia are participating in the National Day of Action organized by the Canadian Federation of Students.
Through marches and on social media, they’re promoting the idea that Education is a Right.
Their explicit demands are for lower tuition fees, less student debt and more public funding.
The CFS says that the average student with debt owes $25,000 by graduation and that public funding has dropped from 81 per cent of operating costs of universities 20 years ago to 57 per cent today—all while tuition has risen from 14 per cent of operating funding to more than 35 per cent.
In other words, students are paying more of their own costs for university than ever before, which makes it difficult for low and middle-income students to get through school and then pay off debts.
Peggy Nash, a candidate for the New Democratic Party’s leadership has already tweeted in solidarity and provided a link to her Plan to make Post-Secondary Education Accessible.
In Newfoundland, which already has among the lowest tuition anywhere, conservative Premier Kathy Dunderdale attended a National Day of Action event this morning and said that, during her lifetime, she’d like to see students’ first degrees paid for by the province, reports VOCM radio.