Ontario's colleges want an immediate end to the province's tuition freeze, a five per cent tuition increase, and enhanced investments in public college students.
The colleges' call for improved investments follows last week's release of a report by a panel of experts on financial stability in post-secondary education.
"Students throughout Ontario must continue to have access to high-quality programs," said Marketa Evans, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "These investments in student success will help ensure Ontario's future workforce has the expertise to succeed in a rapidly evolving labour market."
Tuition at Ontario's public college was cut in 2019 and has been frozen ever since. The average annual tuition for a full-time Ontario college diploma student is approximately $2,700 per year, which is the second lowest tuition cost in Canada.
According to a statement from Colleges Ontario, public colleges currently lose money on every domestic student they serve.
The colleges are calling for:
An immediate end to the tuition freeze and approval of a five per cent increase in public college tuition for September 2024
Increased provincial investment in public college students through a 10 per cent increase in operating grants for September 2024
The creation of a distinct tuition policy for public colleges that addresses the long-standing inequities between college and university education
Lifting the cap on high-demand programs to allow more students to enroll in programs where there is high demand for graduates in the labour market.
Common-sense changes to create more opportunities for people to study part-time.
"Investing in public college students is key to Ontario's economic future," Evans said. "To strengthen our economy and help more people find rewarding careers, we must get this right."