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Ontario expert panel urges end to post-secondary tuition freeze

TORONTO — A government-commissioned report on the finances of Ontario’s universities and colleges says the province should both end its tuition freeze and increase per-student funding to those institutions.

The Progressive Conservative government introduced a 10 per cent tuition cut in 2019, as it cancelled the former Liberal government’s free tuition program for low- and middle-income students, and has frozen fees at that level since then.

That has forced post-secondary institutions to increase their dependence on international student tuition, which is considerably higher than for domestic students.

Meanwhile, the Council of Ontario Universities has said those institutions receive the lowest amount of operating grant funding per full-time student of all the provinces.

The expert panel’s report today says the province should increase direct support for both colleges and universities and the government should allow for tuition fee increases.

Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop says before agreeing to any tuition increases she needs to ensure colleges and universities are operating as efficiently as possible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press