• Liberals increase financial aid for students, ease debt repayment rules

    Changes to financial aid include allowing low-income graduates to defer their student loan payments until they make more than $25,000 a year, and providing a 50-per-cent increase to federal grants to $3,000 from $2,000 for low-income students. (Middle-income students will see an increase to $1,200 from $800.)… The budget envisions entrepreneurship and innovation centres, apprenticeship training facilities and research labs being built…

  • Instead of offering free tuition for some, change when and how all students pay for university

    For many students, the impact of the fees will be felt only in the years after they graduate, when it comes time to repay their student loans… Reform efforts, then, should be focused less on reducing fees — indeed, as the primary beneficiaries of higher education, students ought reasonably to bear the full cost themselves — than on changing when and how students pay them. There’s no particular reason why students should have to pay anything up front, at the time they are in school.

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    Free Tuition For Ontario Students Whose Families Make $50K Or Less

    The Ontario government’s 2016 budget includes a complete overhaul of the province’s current assistance program, which Finance Minister Charles Sousa called “complex and convoluted.” The minister said the new system will be more accessible but cost taxpayers roughly the same amount. Here’s what the changes will mean for some of those who qualify:

  • Students have a right to a French-language education, but language segregated transportation?

    … it’s hard to see how a dual busing requirement could prove legally durable, and it’s perhaps just as importantly hard to see how a dual busing requirement will help New Brunswick students become integrated and cohesive members of a bilingual province. Sometimes past wrongs can be remedied through positive guarantees, but it’s hard to imagine how they can be remedied through culturally divisive requirements that defy common sense.

  • OCUFA releases first-ever public opinion poll on precarious academic work

    … 94 per cent of Ontarians think universities should be model employers and support good jobs in their communities. 88 per cent want part-time professors to be converted into full-time positions. 85 per cent want part-time professors to receive fair pay and 84 per cent believe part-time professors should have the same access to benefits as their full-time colleagues. 64 per cent of Ontarians want to be taught by, or have their child taught by, a full-time professor with job security and benefits…

  • Better data, more full-time hiring, increased investment [Ontario universities]

    Increase per-student public investment in Ontario’s universities to the rest of Canada average by 2020-21… Support universities to bring Ontario’s student-faculty ratio in line with the rest of Canada average by 2020-21 by hiring 8,510 new full-time faculty members… Ensure fairness for contract faculty by strengthening employment and labour law… Establish a new higher education data agency mandated to collect, analyze, and disseminate key information on Ontario’s universities.

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    Two new reports highlight Ontario’s rising tuition fees

    According to Statistics Canada, average undergraduate tuition fees in Ontario are now $7,868, the highest in Canada. The Canadian average without Ontario is $5,178. In addition, fees in Ontario went up 4.0 per cent between 2014-15 and 2015-16, compared to a 3.2 per cent increase nationally… As OCUFA reported this past February, tuition fees surpassed public funding as a source of university revenue in Ontario for the first time this year.

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    Ontario tuition high, but still affordable

    … tuition in Ontario might appear higher than other jurisdictions, [but] it’s critical to consider the supports students receive to offset the cost of tuition through one of the most progressive and robust student assistance programs in Canada. Our government issued around $1.3 billion in grants and loans last year, and 70 per cent of that assistance was money that students won’t have to repay… Ontario undergraduate students graduate with the third lowest public and private debt.

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    Sex ed curriculum strikes blow to rape culture

    What would it look like if instead of — or at least alongside — rape culture we learned about a culture of consent? This is part of what’s being proposed by the Ontario Education Ministry in its new sex education curriculum… that you have to ask someone if they want to have sex, and they have to answer positively… It’s teaching kids that they have a choice. It’s teaching them that they are agents when it comes to sex, not passive objects

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    Ontario should ensure benefits of fundraising are shared with kids in poor schools

    Education officials should… share the wealth by putting a reasonable limit on unfettered fundraising. Once they reached that level, affluent school supporters could continue raising money, but a percentage of the subsequent revenue would go into a fund to be shared by schools in poorer areas… engaged parents would still be encouraged to raise funds and… a good share of the money (perhaps 50 per cent) would flow to disadvantaged children who stand to benefit most from extracurricular activities.