Ottawa needs to step up to PSE plate, too

ocufa.on.ca – research-publications/ocufa-report -Data Check – Volume 5, Issue 40
November 23, 2011.

Last month, the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) released Public Education for the Public Good: A National Vision for Canada’s Post-Secondary Education System.

Some of its finding:

  • Since the late 1990s, full-time enrolment at colleges and universities has increased 25 per cent.  Enrolment in graduate studies soared 42 per cent between 1998 and 2008.
  • But federal funding for postsecondary education has decreased dramatically since the late-1970s.
  • The Canada Social Transfer gives money to the provinces but does not require them to use federal postsecondary funding for postsecondary purposes because there are too-few strings attached. For example, in 2008, the Government of British Columbia cut funding to universities by $50 million shortly after it received $110 million in new postsecondary funding from the federal government!

The CFS’s central recommendation is for the federal government to bring in a Post-Secondary Education Act modeled after the Canada Health Act. Under such legislation, the federal government would work cooperatively with the provinces; restore funding to 1992 levels; ensure that tuition fees are reduced to 1992 levels; and provide enough money to universities and colleges that they could undertake much needed capital repairs.

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