Opinions

The SU View

The SU View and its corresponding headline are products of the Students' Union. It is printed without editorial revision and does not reflect the views of the Gauntlet Publications Society.

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The Alberta government is currently reviewing the entire post-secondary education system. It is essential that you provide input, informing the government about what results you would like to see come out of the review. Need some motivation? Consider this; Alberta has the second highest average undergraduate tuition in Canada. Chronic underfunding from the government has resulted in tuition increases totalling 298.44 per cent since 1990-1991, by far the highest percentage increases in Canada. Undergraduate students across Alberta now face an average of $5,125 in tuition fees. Additional compulsory fees averaging $566 add to this burden, having risen by 31.8 per cent across Alberta since 2000-2001. Ralph Klein promised Albertans the most affordable tuition in Canada. These numbers show that we have a long way to go. The current tuition levels and costs of obtaining a post-secondary education are contrary to the values of a public post-secondary education system.

The Alberta Student Loan system has unbelievably high administrative costs, with approximately 60 cents for each dollar of student aid going towards simply running the program. Converting the student loan program into a system of grants would greatly decrease these costs, freeing up more money that could go directly to students. It is innovative measures like this that will lead to a genuinely accessible education system for all, not loan reforms that simply re-jig how students manage their debt.

A well-informed, mobilized group of concerned citizens can achieve great things. Contact your MLA, and contact Minister of Advanced Education, Dave Hancock, and let them know your vision for the future of post-secondary education in Alberta. You can contact Minister Hancock at "dave.hancock@gov.ab.ca" and you can find the contact info for your MLA at "http://www.assembly.ab.ca/lao/mla/index.asp"

Find out more about the review, and fill out the government's online survery at "http://www. advancededucation.gov.ab.ca/alearningalberta/."

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