Free Tuition: An Antidote to Elitism

Originally published in The Canadian Dimension

There’s something stirring on Canadian campuses. No longer content with piecemeal reform, students are eyeing the larger prize of zero tuition. The demand for free tuition, which has grown louder and louder in places ranging from South Africa, to the United Kingdom, to the USA has found its echo in Canada.

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Dear Canadian Students: Stand Up for Us

President of Local 36 (Grenfell Campus Student Union) and International Constituency Commissioner of the Canadian Federation of Students

Picture this – two students sitting in the same classroom, reading the same textbooks, and learning the same material. But one is paying $6,373/year to be there, and other is paying $23,589/year to be there. This is the reality in every single province across Canada, as successive governments have allowed post-secondary institutions to charge exorbitant differential tuition fees for international students.

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Stop Corporatization on Campus

The priorities of our colleges and universities are shifting. Our schools are increasingly acting like corporations and at the same time, are giving corporations more and more control of our schools.

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Students’ Call for Free Education Receives Unprecedented Support

With just one week until the Canadian Federation of Students’ (CFS) November 2 national day of action for free education, students are announcing the support of 83 labour unions, civil society organizations and community groups.

“Students have been there for us on the picket lines and in our campaigns to defend public services,” said Hassan Yussuff, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “This historic cooperation demonstrates the urgent need for action, and our success will showcase the strength of our movements’ unity. I will be there on November 2 to demand free education now. It’s long overdue.”

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Absolute Zero: It’s time to put pro-tuition arguments on ice

The arguments against the elimination of tuition fees are deeply flawed. More to the point, they’re often hilariously dependant on the complete suspension of reality.

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Tuition Fees and Unpaid Internships Cost Us All

It’s tough out there! The job market has never been more competitive and yet the opportunities have never been more precarious. Students and new graduates are fighting over unpaid internships hoping it will lead to illusory, highly coveted paying jobs. But I am afraid this is a lost cause.

Students (especially ‘millennial’ students) are often derided when we ask for anything. Even if all we’re asking for is a minimum wage paycheck. Yet long gone are the days where students can finance their education through government loans and summer jobs. 

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Education is a Treaty Right

Today, Member of Parliament for Timmins - James Bay, Charlie Angus, presented a petition signed by hundreds of students calling on the Federal Government to invest in the Post-Secondary Student Support Program (PSSSP) to fund Indigenous learners.

The petition is the latest step in a long-standing campaign seeking justice for Indigenous youth after decades of underfunding and broken promises. Recognizing that Indigenous people have a full and complete right to education, the Liberal Government had promised to uphold their treaty obligation by investing $50 million more per year in the PSSSP. Instead, the Government chose to maintain the 20-year 2 per cent cap on funding in their first federal budget.

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It's Time For Canada To Embrace Free Tuition

Originally published in the Huffington Post Canada

By Bilan Arte, National Chairperson

For as long as I've been a student, I've heard experts, politicians and even some of my own classmates say that "free tuition" is a bad idea.

I've been told that free tuition is "wrong", or "self-interested". Why? Because those who get to college or university are already privileged. Why should our society subsidize them?

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Students defeat $1000 fee increase at University of King’s College

HALIFAX—Students won a major victory earlier today when the University of King’s College’s Board of Governors voted unanimously against a proposed $1000 tuition fee increase for first year students enrolled in the Foundation Year Program. This makes the University of King’s College the only university to reject the tuition fee reset.


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It's Time to Think Big

"We need a post-secondary education system that dismantles barriers instead of building them. A crucial first step is the fight for free tuition"

Bilan Arte, National Chairperson


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