In a recent article by The Globe and Mail, Ontario’s tuition plan was compared to that of Denmark’s, which currently offers free post-secondary education and monthly stipends to all students.
In Denmark, the government does not only cover tuition fees; it also provides students $900 a month for expenses like housing and textbooks once they turn 18.
Such allowances are provided for a period of six years, and students are not required to pay back the money should they decide to drop out of school (since federal taxes will cover the costs).
While Ontario’s tuition plan is not wholly identical to that of Denmark’s, some critics say it has the potential to develop to something very similar.
In February of this year, the government revealed plans for an Ontario Student Grant, which promises to give free tuition to students from families that earn less than a $50,000 annually. This caused a bit of an uproar with students of higher-income families, who thought the cut-off was unfair and inappropriately set.
On the other hand, many economists praised the idea and hope that Canada will eventually embrace a universal funding system similar to Denmark’s. They believe that Ontario's tuition plan is a step towards that direction.
Entirely free tuition could put forth issues of inequality - some could argue that it's unfair that the grant would only benefit students of low-income families, while others believe giving less-privileged students an equal chance at an education is more important.
Where do you stand?
Source: The Globe and Mail
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