Time changes everything, but one thing that should remain a priority in society is the quality of education provided to future generations. However, studies have shown that this is not the case.
The authors of Academic Reform say that as the cost of tuition increases the quality of education decreases. In comparison to twenty years ago, undergraduate students in Canada currently receive fewer hours of formal instruction and significantly less access to facility.
They explain that in Ontario the ratio of university students per full-time faculty member has increased by 47 per cent over just two decades. During the same period, the number of courses each faculty member is expected to teach each year has declined by approximately a third. Using these statistics, the authors calculate that the undergraduate education system in Ontario has depleted significantly over the years. Students now receive only 45 per cent as much teaching by full-time faculty per student as they did during the early 1990s.
It is this decrease in quality that has so many students questioning the constant rise in tuition costs. The ongoing protests in Montreal, in which hundreds of thousands have taken part, are an example of the repercussions of rising tuition costs. The protesters are fighting to prevent a 75% increase in tuition fees for post secondary education throughout Quebec. The increase would take place over three years, and would gradually increase tuition costs by approximately $325 per year.
“I am happy that students are finally taking a stand about the raising costs of tuition” says Katie Harris, an international development major at Guelph University.
Many students are unable to afford the rising costs of education. Even with a full time summer job it is difficult to live comfortably and afford university without having to take out a loan. If the costs of tuition begin to rise in Montreal, who is to say they will not start implementing a higher tuition cost throughout Ontario as well? The combination of higher tuition prices and lower quality of education only sets up students for failure.