What we want
- A $4.2 billion increase to current funding that is tied to reductions in tuition fees.
- An end to funding private, for-profit institutions.
- No more public-private partnerships. Post-secondary infrastructure must be publicly financed and operated. Also, create a post-secondary education transfer that improves accountability of federal funding.
- A national system of needs-based grants.
How the Liberals have failed
- Tuition fees have skyrocketed with undergraduate students paying an average of $4,214 in tuition fees for 2005/06, almost triple the average of $1,464 in 1990/91 – the Liberal plan will not control rising tuition.
- Student debt after an undergraduate degree is about $28,000.
- Deferred maintenance costs are skyrocketing. In Ontario alone costs are estimated to be over $1.5 billion for universities.
- Temporary and casual work is growing at universities.
Why the Conservatives are worse
- They endorse income contingent loans that are a regressive funding model and disadvantage women and low-income graduates.
- Conservative tax measures completely fail in addressing problems facing students and universities.
What the New Democrats say
- We need a national plan to reduce tuition by 10 per cent to make education more accessible.
- Protect education from privatization through a Canada Post-Secondary Education Act and increase federal transfers for education.
- Credit all interest on Canada Student Loans against graduates’ income taxes.
- Replace the privately administered Millennium Scholarship Fund with needs-based grants.
- Increase public funding to protect independent research from corporate pressure, particularly in medical and environmental fields.