GOVERNMENT SILENT ON TUITION FEE PLAN

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BY AGATA ZIEBA

Next year’s tuition fees remain a mystery for students across the province.

Ontario’s tuition framework, a fouryear plan for post-secondary funding, will expire this December. Nothing is set to replace it yet.

President Sheldon Levy is worried the university won’t get enough funding for basic functioning, adequate government grants and staff revenues.

“I think the government is going to have enough difficulty managing its budget, that they’re going to have to make some very, very tough calls.”

Dalton McGuinty’s Reaching Higher plan, the current tuition framework, has allowed tuition fees to go up 4.5 to 8 per cent annually since 2005.

Tanya Blazina, spokesperson for John Milloy, minister of training, colleges and universities, wouldn’t comment on what the new academic structure will be called, when it will come out and whether tuition fees will decrease.

“We’re looking at [framework] options now. But I can’t speculate on future government decisions,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ryerson student representatives can’t wait for the “Reaching Higher” plan to expire.

“It’s detrimental to students, and it’s hindered their ability to get an education since they had to look into other financial areas, like getting a job,” said Mohammed Ali Aumeer, president of the Continuing Education Students’ Association of Ryerson.

Liana Salvador, Ryerson Students’ Union VP Education, plans to lobby the provincial government in December for what students want to see in the new framework, which she believes won’t be released until 2010.

For Aumeer, an effective new tuition framework relies on student input.

“It’s up to [students] to do the best we can in lowering tuition fees and increasing funding, and telling the government now that we won’t accept it anymore.”

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