Editorial Board 2001-2002
Knowledge is power. But what happens when higher education becomes available to only those with money?
While tuition fees continue to rise, Queen's University has made a proposal to deregulate their arts and science undergraduate program tuition fees. If the provincial government approves this move, Queen's will be the first school in Ontario with such deregulation.
It is not a welcome idea to Queen's students. Not only is the student council strongly opposed to it, but 92 per cent of student voters voiced opposition against the move in a referendum held last year.
Unfortunately, only 200 students showed their disapproval at a recent protest, while 100 attended an open forum regarding the proposal. It is a dismal turnout considering the dangerous implications the move carries.
We at Western are not safe from the effects of deregulation either. Government approval of Queen's University's proposal will likely spark a domino effect of similar proposals from our school and others in the province.
Universities are hoarding enough money as it is. An Ontario education is not of greater value than its out-of-province counterparts and therefore does not warrant such high cost.
The increase in tuition will not likely improve the quality of education, so what is the reasoning behind this proposal?
The truly needy people are students requiring financial assistance, but OSAP and other student loan programs have already been taxed to the limit.
The high costs of tuition has already prevented many intelligent people from experiencing university. If money continues to prevent our brightest minds from opportunities to excel and innovate, we will have a less educated population, unable to compete with superior societies breeding higher levels of development.
Higher tuition rates are not only elitist, but also a step backwards for education. A more effective society is populated by more educated individuals not less.
For perspective students thinking of continuing their education, university would not be a viable option for many. Instead, they'll have to turn to other options like studying at community colleges or universities outside the province.
Sure, most students presently enrolled in university will have graduated if such a proposal comes into effect. But the future of education is at stake. Our younger siblings and future generations' opportunities will be effected by it.
The bottom line is opposition against such an idea comes from a cause greater than money it's about principle. We live in a democracy where all individuals are supposed to be equal.
Knowledge is power and because of that, we all deserve a fair shot.