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Today's top news stories for February 27, 2009.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Report: universities may require significant tuition hikes
The Educational Policy Institute recently published a report, entitled On the brink: How the recession of 2009 will affect post-secondary education, focusing on how the recession is going to affect post-secondary education.

“Universities aren’t immune to the economic downturn,” Ryan Dunn, co-author of the report, said.

The report suggested post-secondary institutions will not be able to maintain the current quality of education without increasing tuition as much as 25 per cent. It also pointed to ways in which schools could limit the repercussions of these increases.

“There is a lot more to the report than just the tuition piece. It is great to have a discussion about the system more holistically,” Jacqueline Cole, University Students’ Council VP-university affairs, said.

Cole expressed concern that many will focus on increased tuition and adequate attention will not be paid to financial aid.

“The major focus needs to be getting money into the hands of those who can’t afford [an education],” she said.

There are several things that can be done to reduce the impact of tuition increases, according to the report.

“Universities, in the short term should basically look at implementing some hiring freezes. Another option is to offer buy-outs of staff or faculty that have been there for a while,” Dunn said.

He explained the government should play a role in funding those salary restructurings.

Dunn admitted students have little power to affect change on this issue.

“Students can lobby the federal government to invest in brains and not buildings over the next little while,” he recommended.

“Both [post-secondary] institutions and the government have the opportunity to do some cost cutting measures in the short term to weather the storm, and have opportunities coming out of it.”
" Hannah Rosen

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