Despite Hard Economic Times, Tuition Fees Rising Far Faster Than Inflation

Canadian Federation of Students

University and college tuition fees rose almost four-times greater than the rate of inflation this year. According to data released today by Statistics Canada, tuition fees in Canada increased by 5% between 2011 and 2012, compared to inflation of 1.3% during the same period.

“Governments are continuing to shift the cost of public education onto the backs of students and their families,” said Adam Awad, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “By increasing tuition fees in a time of economic uncertainty, provincial governments are further reducing access to education and skills training.”

Over the past 20 years tuition fees have increased by 206.9 percent, while inflation rose 70.1 percent for the same period. Tuition fees are currently the single largest expense for most university and college students and are increasing more rapidly than any other cost they face. Tuition fees vary widely from province to province with students in Newfoundland and Labrador paying just less than one-third of those in Ontario.

“Students’ willingness, not geography should determine whether they go to university or college,” said Awad. “In the absence of a national vision for post-secondary education, the federal government cannot ensure that students across the country have comparable access to higher education.”

The Canadian Federation of Students has been calling for a Post-Secondary Education Act that establishes guidelines for funds transferred to the provinces for post-secondary education. Federal legislation could ensure accountability and create national standards for the quality and accessibility of Canada’s universities and colleges.

*Note: The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

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