Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

August 31, 2011 16:38 ET

Cost of Ontario university education adversely affecting families and economy: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 31, 2011) - Under Pressure: The impact of rising tuition fees on Ontario families, a report released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), says that the rising costs of tuition fees not only affects families, but also that Ontario society as a whole is adversely affected.

Tuition fees for Ontario students have increased by 244 per cent since 1990.

The report, commissioned by the Ontario University Coalition (OUC), was written by David Macdonald, CCPA research associate and Erika Shaker, director of CCPA Education Project.

The report reveals: "…a family putting a child into university this fall faces a much higher debt burden than a similar family did in 1990. For comparison's sake, a 1990 family held a debt equal to 93 per cent of disposable income; today's family already has debt equal to 150 per cent of its disposable income.

"By increasing downloading onto families and exploiting the parental desire to provide for their children, Ontario is severely hampering its economic and educational potential."

"The raise in tuition has been of great concern for us," said Janice Folk-Dawson, chair of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario's Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee (OUWCC). "It is a very real problem for Ontario families. We have members who are affected as lecturers and students, in addition to non-academics, and children from both groups facing unreasonably high tuition fees.

"High tuition fees increase the divide between who can and cannot get a university education and this only leads to greater social-economic separation in our society."

OUC member groups are: Canadian Auto Workers, Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario, Canadian Union of Public Employees – Ontario, Confederation of Ontario Staff Associations and Unions, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, Ontario Public Service Employees' Union, Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation, Public Service Alliance of Canada, United Steelworkers, and the Ontario Federation of Labour.

For the full report, please go to:

Contact Information

  • Wendy Forbes
    CUPE Communications

    Janice Folk-Dawson