The backlash following the Minister of Education Tom Osbourne’s release of the Newfoundland and Labrador post-secondary education review report on April 19th continues to be significant.
Marcus Furlong says that “Unfreeze tuition won’t solve Newfoundland’s issues. $70 million is a measly drop in the bucket of our extreme expenses. Post Secondary spending is not why Newfoundland is in debt. If they want to reduce post-secondary education, look to the bloated administrative budget instead.”
“Transferring responsibility for our current debt on to students via an austere measure, ignores the responsibility of current and past governments.”Tony Chadwick
Tony Chadwick states that “Increasing tuition at MUN makes no economic or political sense. Increased costs for potential students will inevitably result in lower enrolment, especially from NL residents, but also from other Canadian residents and international students, the latter offering the best opportunity for future population growth.” He then brings up a point about responsibility, “Ethically, transferring responsibility for our current debt on to students via an austere measure, ignores the responsibility of current and past governments who have created our financial mess.”
Leonard Roxon states that “For all the waste of Government and the padding of the bank accounts of those connected to Government and the EXTREME salaries of the MUN Administration, it is time to help the students & citizens of NL to get ahead in life – Keeping the tuition freeze is the least that this Government can do for the citizens of NL.”
Lorraine Michael states that “Where there’s political will, there is a way, and there must be a will to make education on all levels accessible and available to all. The social and economic good of society depends on an educated population. Free education should be the ultimate goal.”
“There must be a will to make education on all levels accessible and available to all.”Lorraine Michael
Sahjanand Rai states the implications of a tuition increase for international students, “The only reason me and many other international students selected MUN over other Universities was its affordable tuition.” He says that the job market in the province is terrible, everything is expensive, and that there is a lack of connectivity from the mainland. Rai states, “The people of Newfoundland are very nice and welcoming, but it’s hard to survive if you don’t get proper opportunity.” He says that if MUN raises tuition fees to be on par with other Canadian universities, it will affect international students. He states, “they might not prefer Newfoundland over other provinces which provide them with better opportunities (for the same amount of tuition fees).”
Barry Stephenson brings up a point about the increasing privatization of post-secondary institutions, “Raising revenues through tuition is part of the privatization of education, and the financialization of the university. If government’s ‘save’ money by raising tuition, costs are downloaded to individuals and families; typically, the less affluent and minorities disproportionally pay the price. Not only does talk of the ‘cost’ of a tuition freeze neglect the broad social and economic benefits of low cost or free university education, it also leads us to think of a university education in mainly financial terms. If recent history has taught us anything, it is that market failures do in fact occur; when they do, the public winds up doubly paying. We’d best be careful in taking further steps to conceive public education as a marketable commodity. Commodity or commons? This is the choice.”
“Raising revenues through tuition is part of the privatization of education, and the financialization of the university.”Barry Stephenson
Patrick Martin says that “Education should be free. Given the necessity of post-secondary education for the vast majority of jobs and the massive benefits that it provides to the province, they should look at reducing tuition even more.”
Scott Anderson has an idea for a reward model of tuition, “Pay for the first two years, second two free. Most drops and failures happen in the first two years. And this way, the people that deserve a break get it.”
Marie Hickey states that “Young people leave NL in droves, and affordable tuition is probably one of the main reasons some stay. We don’t need another reason for young, educated people to look elsewhere!”
Steven Butt asks the question, “Why is it that tuition increases are acceptable to so many people, but the idea of service fees for health care or K-12 education are unacceptable?” He then states, “It’s baffling to me. They’re all public services, and charging money for them is ridiculous.”
Daryl Pinksen comments on the claim that a tuition increase at MUN would drive students to other universities “No, they won’t head elsewhere. If they can’t afford it here, how would moving somewhere with even higher tuition, a higher cost of living, and the additional cost of travelling to and from help?”
Anne-Maria Gionet brings up a story of her children attending MUN, “We live in Ontario. When my daughter chose MUN, the lower tuition was a definite factor in the decision to let her move to NL. She has remained in your amazing province, and my hubby & I plan to retire there. My son attends University in Ontario (couldn’t convince him otherwise). The high cost of his education would be a deterrent to many students.”
“Don’t force our kids into poverty. Let’s see spending at MUN first.”Tonya Lynn Organ
Tonya Lynn Organ says, “Raise tuition during a pandemic? This makes no sense at all. Start cutting at the top. Don’t force our kids into poverty. Let’s see spending at MUN first.”
Mary Hiscock states, “They should NOT put tuition up! A post-secondary education is NOT what it was in the past. It is NOT a golden ticket. How is it good for the economy to saddle young people with MORE debt?! Governments blah-blah then waste all our money on big construction projects. Governments blah-blah then bailout big corps. Governments blah-blah then let the mega-rich not pay taxes.”
Michael White comments on the MUN’s infrastructure woes, “The maintenance backlog at the university (often given as a reason to increase fees) is not as a result of low tuition but of low government support for post-secondary education. While the government needs to address its fiscal mess, the only way to a secure provincial economy is with a highly educated population and top-notch internet service in rural Newfoundland.”
Matt Barter is a third-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.
One thought on “Recommendation to increase tuition continues to face criticism”
Another good compilation of views! Again, will government MHAs read these comments and take them into account when budgeting?