“Education for All” calls Ottawa to address postsecondary funding
Ottawa needs to address the funding and access problems regarding post-secondary education that have been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a coalition of university faculty, student and labour groups.
Rising tuition coupled with pandemic-induced unemployment is reducing access to education and training, the coalition says in its report, called “Education for All,” released Tuesday. Many people who have lost their jobs in the past year are unable to afford the training that could help them get back to work, it says.
“The pandemic has just brought everything into focus. It’s magnified and it’s concentrated the inequities that we’ve been jumping up and down for a while,” Brenda Austin-Smith, president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, said in a recent interview.
The coalition, which also includes the Canadian Federation of Students, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the National Union of Public and General Employees, is asking Ottawa to increase transfers for post-secondary education by at least $3 billion a year.
That permanent increase would bring the federal contribution per student back to 1992 levels, it said.