Volume 96, Issue 15
Tuesday, September 24, 2002

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Millennium Scholarships a poor legacy

Re: "Student leaders claim recent study is flawed," Sept. 19

To the Editor:

Students are realizing that getting an education is increasingly a privilege of the rich.

The Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation was put together by the federal Liberals as their legacy to post-secondary education. Unfortunately, they don't seem as concerned as to whether that legacy is a positive one.

Scholarships distributed by the CMSF have proven to be largely ineffective. In provinces like Ontario and Nova Scotia, governments simply refused to co-operate and much of the money went towards tax cuts. Now we hear that the CMSF is trying to prove its worth by publishing a report that paints a rosy picture of student finances.

The truth is that their analysis is extremely biased, concentrating on outdated statistics and downplaying their own research which points to a much different scenario. Let's be clear. Their latest report is attempting to undermine what students and educators have been saying for years: higher tuition fees reduce accessibility.

In response to this partisan report and the CMSF's track record, I am concerned that the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations claims to properly represent student views while at the same time applauds the Foundation "for doing the research."

CASA claims this report raises public awareness on higher education. However, as students know, it is a misleading and dangerous enterprise to "raise public awareness" about post-secondary education in the partisan and biased context presented by the CMSF. I expect more from a national student organization than such half measures.

Jesse Greener
Ph.D. Candidate Physics V

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2002 THE GAZETTE