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College and university tuition frozen in Ontario again for the 3rd time

A general view of the Ryerson University campus in Toronto, is seen on Thursday, January 17, 2019.
A general view of the Ryerson University campus in Toronto, is seen on Thursday, January 17, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Tuition fees for students attending colleges and universities in Ontario will not rise next year, the government has announced.

The tuition fee freeze extends an identical decision that was announced last year and the year before. The province reduced tuition fees by 10 per cent for the 2019-20 academic year prior to the freezes.

The reduction and subsequent freezes do not apply to students attending from out-of-province or international students.

A 2021 report from the Auditor General found Ontario’s public college fee revenue was increasingly reliant on international students.

Read more: 2 northern Ontario institutions to be come independent universities, government says

Between the 2016-17 academic year and 2019-20, international tuition revenue increased 152 per cent in Ontario, while domestic tuition revenue dropped three per cent.

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“By freezing tuition for another year, we are saying yes to ensuring that students have access to affordable, high-quality postsecondary education, and reducing the financial strain on families,” Jill Dunlop, Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and Universities, said in a statement.

Read more: Some Ontario post-secondary schools to keep mask mandates in place beyond March 21

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) said the freeze alone was not enough.

“We are worried there is still not enough support for students that demonstrate financial need,” Eunice Oladejo, OUSA President and VP External Affairs for the University Student Council at Western, said in a statement.

OUSA said the government must increase operating grants for universities and colleges along with Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) funding.

The province calculated its tuition reductions and freezes had saved students around $450 million per year, compared to tuition fees for the 2018-19 academic year.

Read more: Reports recommend major changes for Laurentian University

The government said average tuition fees in Ontario rank fourth for cost compared to other Canadian provinces.

“Increasing the affordability of college and university is part of Ontario’s plan to help people get the training they need to get good-paying jobs,” Dunlop said.

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