BC Students demand equity on tuition fees

A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives confirms that students in BC today are paying substantially more in tuition fees than students from the preceding generation.

“What was once the cost of a full year of education now only covers two 3-credit courses and few textbooks,” said Katie Marocchi, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-BC. “Even when inflationary costs are calculated, current students in BC are being charged twice the costs their parents once paid for the very same education.”

The recent Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives report, Degrees of Uncertainty, shows that average fees paid by British Columbia students now sit at $5,719, compared to $1,808 in 1990.

In 2001, the BC Liberals deregulated tuition fees, allowing fees at colleges and universities to skyrocket at rates far higher than that of inflation, and reaching record high levels. Despite current legislation that regulates tuition fee increases, there has been no attempt to reverse the damage caused by record-high tuition fees. Further, colleges and universities are increasingly introducing cost-recovery model programs with fees far in excess of the provincial average.

“Tuition fees are the number one barrier to post-secondary education,” said Marocchi. “Part of the success experienced by previous generations was due the availability of reasonably affordable college and university programs. At very least, students today should be provided the same access to education that enabled their parent’s generation to succeed.”

The Canadian Federation of Students-BC is composed of students from 15 post-secondary institutions across every region of BC. Post-secondary students in Canada have been represented by the Canadian Federation of Students and its predecessor organizations since 1927.