Last week on March 23rd, the Ontario Undergraduate Students’ Alliance issued a statement in response to the Ontario Provincial Government’s release of the 2022-2023 Tuition Freeze, which can be read here: https://www.ousa.ca/pr_freeze_2022.
“Although we are pleased that domestic tuition will not be increased this coming year, we are worried there is still not enough support for students that demonstrate financial need,” says Eunice Oladejo, Vice-President External Affairs for the USC and OUSA President. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted key gaps within student financial aid and, unfortunately, this tuition framework fails to address some of these gaps.”
In alignment with OUSA, the USC shares the concern that any freeze in domestic tuition, without corresponding increases in operating grants to post-secondary institutions, will negatively impact out-of-province and international student tuition. International and out-of-province students are vital and valued members of our student community. We know international and out-of-province students face unique barriers to accessing education in Ontario in ways that students who are Ontario residents do not. International student tuition is currently unregulated by the provincial government, meaning institutions can increase it at whatever rate they like. The flexibility offered to institutions by 2022/2013 Ontario Tuition Framework to increase tuition for domestic out-of-province students by up to 5% can also negatively impact our out-of-province student community.
As such, the Vice-President University Affairs for the USC, Ziyana Kotadia, is actively raising these concerns with Western’s senior leadership, including during a meeting between the USC Executive and Western senior leadership on March 23rd, the day that the 2022-2023 Tuition Freeze announcement was released.
The USC will continue to advocate for affordable tuition and accessible financial aid opportunities for all members of our student community.