Where’s the tuition freeze? Government policy shifts on tuition and insurance glaring

CAUS News release

Where’s the tuition freeze? Government policy shifts on tuition and insurance glaring

Edmonton, October 30, 2003 – Alberta’s Premier Ralph Klein announced today that his government plans to intervene with a rate freeze on auto insurance while Bill 43, the proposed Post-Secondary Learning Act (Bill 43) seeks to remove the 30% cap on tuition and create a framework that would allow tuition to continue increasing faster than inflation.

“While the government is freezing auto insurance rates, it is seeking to ensure tuition increases will outpace inflation for the next 30 years with Bill 43,” stated Shirley Barg, CAUS Chair. “According to the government, caps are the answer in one area, while they claim more ‘flexibility’ is the answer for out-of-control tuition rates. It makes no sense. High tuition fees are a problem that negatively affects 200 000 students in Alberta, and even more families and future students. Given how important higher education is, I can’t believe the government is rationing access based on the ability to pay.”

Statistics Canada cites new figures today that show Canada’s knowledge economy increasingly requires post-secondary education, particularly for professional occupations.

“It is conceivable that in the future, most, if not all jobs will require some form of post-secondary education,” stated Chris Samuel, CAUS vice-chair. If there’s value in an auto insurance freeze, there is great value in a tuition freeze.”

Students across the province are rallying public support against Bill 43 and the proposed changes to the Tuition Fee Policy. The changes would allow post-secondary institutions to raise tuition above the 30% tuition cap. The government has previously created and scrapped caps of 12% and 20%.

The Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) represents over 80 000 Alberta undergraduate university students.

For more information, contact:
Shirley Barg, CAUS Chair
780 461 4948

Melanee Thomas, CAUS Executive Director
780 492 1976

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