New poll shows public still concerned about the high cost of post-secondary education

"We can't keep ignoring the basic fact: a majority of British Columbians think post-secondary education tuition fees are too high," said Cindy Oliver, President of the Federation of Post-Secondary Educators (FPSE). Along with representatives from the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), Ms. Oliver was releasing the results of a FPSE poll on post-secondary education issues conducted by Ipsos Reid.

"According to this poll about 55 percent of British Columbians think that post-secondary tuition fees are too high. Tuition fees have risen steadily since the provincial government decided to de-regulate those fees in 2002. It's time to re-think that policy and use some of the province's available fiscal strength to invest in public post-secondary education," said Oliver.

"Certainly the polling data supports that change in policy," Oliver added. "86 percent of those polled think that the best way to solve the skills shortage is for the provincial government to invest more in public post-secondary colleges, institutes and universities. That strong vote of support by British Columbians needs to be reflected in a strong commitment by this government to properly fund our existing public post-secondary system," Oliver noted.

"The polling numbers also confirm that a strong majority (81%) of British Columbians think that the steady rise in student debt is making it harder for students to complete their post-secondary education," said Shamus Reid, BC Chairperson for the Canadian Federation of Students. "For many students $25,000 to $30,000 of student loans are not uncommon. That debt often stands in the way of either timely graduation or completion of their post-secondary education," Reid added.

"We know the provincial government has recently completed a review of post-secondary education. That review process-Campus 2020-included a number of recommendations that, unfortunately, don't address the critical issues of affordability and access. Over the next few months, we are going to be urging MLAs and Cabinet Ministers to more effectively address the funding needs of post-secondary education in ways that were not reflected in the Campus 2020 report," concluded Oliver.

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For more information contact:
Phillip Legg
cel (604) 788-2877
plegg@fpse.ca
Staff Representative, Communications & Policy
Federation of Post-Secondary Educators

About FPSE

The Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC is the provincial voice for faculty and staff in BC teaching universities, colleges and institutes, and in private sector institutions. FPSE member locals, represented by Presidents' Council and the Executive, represent over 10,000 faculty and staff at 18 public and 12 private sector institutions.