Canadians invest in post-secondary education to improve their chances of getting a well-paying job.

Because of the demographic boom most Canadian universities more than tripled student enrolment in the mid 1960’s and started a huge building expansion. Older, more established universities increased faculty numbers and expanded their facilities, while new universities were built to accommodate further growth:

  • University of Calgary – 1966
  • University of Victoria – 1963
  • Simon Fraser – 1965

This era represented a time when Canadian governments not only recognized the economic value of post-secondary education; they also invested public funds to reflect that commitment

In the mid-1960s, federal and provincial governments provided nearly all funding (90%) for Canadian universities.

University education - then and now

Today, due to shifting educational requirements in the Canadian labour market, more employers are demanding degrees where previously a High School diploma was sufficient. University enrolment is steadily increasing and competition is stiff.

Tuition fees cover 51% of operating budgets and have become the single largest expense for most students, resulting in greater debt loads. Increases in fees were the direct result of cuts to public funding by both federal and provincial budgets.

Do you think the concept of shifting the burden of financing secondary education away from the general taxpayer and onto the individual who benefits is a reasonable one?

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