Today is the Canadian Federation of Students' annual tuition protest (might it be time to try a different tactic?) and this year finds post-secondary students in Ontario still caught between a rock and a hard place. Here are some numbers - average tuition per year for undergraduates in Ontario for 2011: $6,640.00; rate of tuition increase between 1990 and 2011: 244%; estimated total amount of students debt owed to the Federal government as of 2013: $15,000,000,000.00.
Students face increasing tuition fees and a deteriorating youth labour market, while their families face higher debt burdens and take longer to pay for the cost of education for children. This situation isn't right as it's a stealth tax aimed at the next generation that has shifted the burden of funding the post-secondary education system onto young people who are often faced with small mortgages before they've ever held a full-time job. Any notion of intergenerational equity is lost when students are told by their leaders to get a good education, but are then pushed into the labour market without nary a thought from politicians about who's going to employ all the bright-eyed graduates.
Here are some resources that tracks the current scope of the problems that students face: the CCPA's Under Pressure report; OUSA's tuition policy paper; a great post from David Doorey about income inequality, youth and labour market policy; and, the CFS' report on the impact of government underfunding. Below I've posted a video that covers a lot of the issues facing students in Ontario today, see: