Winnipeg – Students at the University of Winnipeg have registered resounding support for the progressive reduction of tuition fees. The results of a vote coordinated by the Canadian Federation of Students, as part of a national campaign calling on governments to fund access to college and university, were tallied late last night:
96% voted Yes to the progressive reduction of tuition fees
1457 ballots cast
“The message of Tuition Fee Vote 2003 is clear: further tuition fee reductions have widespread support among students,” said Meeghan Gavin, Manitoba Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. “Contrary to last year’s votes in certain faculties at the U of M, a broad base of students has shown strong support for tuition fee reductions.”
The Canadian Federation of Students hopes that the vote will put pressure on the provincial government to reverse the tuition and ancillary fee hikes that have eroded the tuition fee reduction and freeze policy since it was implemented in 2000/2001.
“The Doer government must improve the tuition fee policy by continuing to provide adequate funding to colleges and universities, legislating the freeze on tuition, expanding the policy to cover ancillary fees, and scheduling further fee reductions. Students should not have to vote on tuition fees – the Province should do its job as a policy-maker. Doer should protect and expand the tuition fee freeze and reduction.”
The Canadian Federation of Students opposed the vote for a 91% fee increases last year in the Faculty of Law and condemns the continuing tuition and ancillary fee hikes that have been allowed in certain programmes across the province. The Federation is concerned that fee increases undermine the effectiveness of the tuition fee policy in improving access to education and will cause sticker-shock that will result in limited or distorted participation in programmes with high fees, such as law and dentistry.
Similar votes will take place early in the winter semester on other campuses in Manitoba. Tuition Fee Vote 2003 is part of a campaign leading up to a National Day of Action for Lower Tuition Fees, February 4, 2004.
With 70 member associations and 450,000 members across the country, the Canadian Federation of Students is Canada’s national student movement. http://www.cfs-fcee.ca/