To get good insightful answers, how the question is framed matters. I missed an opportunity on Thursday
Instead of summarizing the following email, I am just going to put it on my blog raw. It is really that I am way too busy to write a real post about it. This is making the rounds to counter the CFS launch of a new website. This is partisan information and does not represent my opinion.
Quality, Access, and Affordability: an Update on the McGuinty Government’s Reaching Higher Plan
The McGuinty Government’s $6.2 billion dollar infusion into Postsecondary education plan is the single largest investment in this sector in over 40 years, with over $1.5 billion more for student aid, funding 86,000 new student spaces since 2002-03.
Making postsecondary education affordable for those who can’t afford it
$1.5 billion of the McGuinty government’s $6.2 billon Reaching Higher plan is being invested into improvements in student aid – a doubling of the student aid budget by 2009-10.
Students have also seen an increase of 27% in their weekly student allowance, translating into $75 per week – the first increase in about 15 years.
We reintroduced upfront tuition grants into OSAP, which had not been available since it was cut by the NDP in 1992-93, extending grant assistance to students who come from families with incomes up to $75,000 and, helping out around 60,000 first and second year students this year.
Limiting student debt to a maximum of $7,000 per year with 80,000 Ontario Student Opportunity Grants
Recognition of the additional needs of students include changes to OSAP’s book and supplies allowance and a new $500 annual allowance to compensate for computer costs
The Ontario Trust for Student Support makes $50 million available every year to match private and corporate cash donations to college and university endowment funds to make additional grants and bursaries available.
Putting in place a reasonable, regulated tuition policy
The McGuinty government froze tuition for two years – the first government in at least 40 years to freeze tuition.
The Harris-Eves government raised tuition by 45 percent for undergraduate programs and allowed tuition to skyrocket in programs such as medicine, law and engineering, while the NDP government increased tuition by 50 percent.
The current tuition model is a regulated framework with capped tuition rates
Approximately 90% of college students will see a tuition increase of $100 or less this year.
Approximately 70% of university students will see a tuition increase of less than $200 this year
No institution will be able to increase tuition fees without signing on to the Student Access Guarantee which requires that no qualified Ontario student will be denied entrance to a College or University due to lack of financial resources.
Tuition compared to government investment
For every $3 the McGuinty government is investing in the Reaching Higher Plan, we’re asking students to invest $1
NDP Government 1990-1995: the NDP invested 90¢ for every dollar invested by students
PC Government 1995-2003: the Tories took away 15¢ for every dollar invested by students by cutting $400 million from postsecondary education
More access to a higher quality postsecondary education
· For the first time, the McGuinty government is providing a three-year funding allocation to colleges and universities, with an historic investment of $4 billion this year – representing a 20% funding increase – rising to $4.3 billion by 2008-09 to help our post secondary institutions:.
· Hire more support staff and faculty so that students have better access to their instructors
1 Purchase additional educational resources to provide training with up-to-date technology and
2 Improve student support services to help students make the most of their time at college or university.
While the Harris-Eves government failed to plan for the double cohort, the McGuinty government has met and greatly surpassed its target of creating 50,000 new postsecondary spaces, funding 86,000 new opportunities for college and university students this year compared to four years ago.
Increasing graduate enrolment by 55% over 2002-03 levels. The Harris-Eves government produced half as many business graduates and MAs and fewer PhDs than our U.S. competitors
Helping those who need more than just money to access and succeed in postsecondary
Investing $15 million in 2006-07 to help postsecondary institutions deliver programs that improve access to postsecondary opportunity for francophones, aboriginals, persons with disabilities and those who would be the first in their families to attend college or university. This amount will increase to $55 million in 2009-10.