Budget offers no relief for students and their families
Canadian Federation of Students
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
WINNIPEG-Higher fees and fewer grants and scholarships announced in today's budget will further erode access to post-secondary education in Manitoba.
"With increasing tuition fees, students and their families will be struggling more than ever to attend university or college," said Marakary Bayo, Manitoba Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "The government should be trying to alleviate the burden of debt placed on students, not making it worse."
The Manitoba budget sets out tuition fee increases at the rate of inflation over the coming years, undermining the impact of marginal increases to provincial bursary and aboriginal access programs. Since the end of the tuition fee freeze in 2009, tuition fees have increased over 12.5%, while the average student debt has risen to $20,000.
These reforms highlight a missed opportunity to address the student debt crisis and will force students and their families to take on more loans to pursue their post-secondary education. In addition, investing money into ineffective post-graduation tax rebates does nothing to offset the up-front costs of university or college when students need it most, despite a 5.3% increase to institutional funding.
"Tax rebates and increases to loans programs miss the mark on where funding is most needed. If the government wants to help students, it should reduce tuition fees," said Bayo. "Today's budget makes no meaningful commitment to students and their families. Instead of offloading the cost of social services into individuals, the government should be making investments to programs that help grow our local economy, such as education."
The Canadian Federation of Students-Manitoba is Manitoba's largest student organisation, uniting over 42,000 students at all of the province's universities. Part of the Canadian Federation of Students, the Federation and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.
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Marakary Bayo, Manitoba Chairperson
Lauren Bosc, President, University of Winnipeg Students' Association
Julie Rempel, Vice-President, External, University of Manitoba Students' Union