Today, the Ontario government announced a number of changes to tuition fees, student fees and OSAP.
Under the new tuition fee framework, there will be a 10 per cent tuition reduction at all publicly funded colleges and universities across the province beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. At Humber, this will mean that the domestic tuition rates for the majority of our programs will be reduced by 10 per cent. The framework does not cover tuition fees for international students.
Under the new framework, colleges and universities are expected to freeze tuition at the 2019-20 levels for the following year.
The government also announced a new approach to ancillary fees. This approach will create different types of ancillary fees; some of which will now be optional for students. Fees used to fund major, campus-wide services and facilities or fees which contribute to the health and safety of students will remain mandatory. The government has stated that essential campus initiatives include: walksafe programs, health and counselling, athletics and recreation and academic support.
Given these changes, all colleges were pleased to hear the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities confirm that operating grants will not be reduced. This is particularly important as Ontario’s colleges already have some of the lowest tuition fees in the country; when tuition and operating grants are combined, Ontario colleges receive about $1,500 less per student compared with institutions in other provinces.
A number of changes were announced to OSAP. These include reductions to the income thresholds associated with the Ontario Student Grant and increases to the amount of loan versus grant that students receive. The government has updated its online OSAP calculator to reflect the changes and will be providing further details in the coming weeks.
As we receive more information, we will be working to assess the impact on our operations. I want to assure you that we remain focused on the priorities set out in our Strategic Plan. We will continue to innovate and transform while providing our students with our unique polytechnic education and high quality services and supports.