Drummond report considered
Assistant News Editor
Students will have to dig deeper into their pockets come next year. On March 8, Glen Murray, minster of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced a raise of the cap on tuition fees by at least five per cent.
This comes just 22 days after Don Drummond, chair of Commission of Reform of Ontario’s Public Services, proposed a report to mitigate financial deficits by remodeling education through a standard, universal fee for all students.
If the Drummond report were implemented, many believe it would spell a loss of millions in revenue, punching a hole in an already financially tight system, and yield a loss of autonomy for Universities.
For others, though, the response varied. The Drummond report tackled a very realistic problem: an ever-increasing enrolment at University. If the Province does not address this issue, sacrifices will be inevitable, most of which come to tuition grants.
The proposal was scraped on March 8, however. The Ministry instead hopes to solve – or at least delay – the problems by raising the tuition five per cent across the board.
The five per cent annual increase gives universities greater autonomy in that they have flexibility to adjust individual program fees. As per the report, the increase will provide universities with extra revenue at a time when the government is expected to constrain funding. Current estimates place the funding increases to 1.5 per cent annually – a low amount, given the rate at which universities are growing.
Students have expressed a sigh of relief to the news.
Jessica Teicher, a second year Arts and Science student, was just glad that the announcement “delays drastic surges in tuition fees.”
The current funding framework, however, has been in place since 2006, and has resulted a tuition increase of $1,480, according to Statistics Canada. This fails to mention that Ontario already has the highest average tuition of $6,640.