Student union fights back

Students at Okanagan College are fighting back against rising tuition costs.

They feel the recent announcement of a two per cent fee increase from the College’s board of governors will hurt students in Kelowna, Salmon Arm and Penticton.

The group addressed the board with a focus on the realities of tuition fees for international students and domestic students and the issues facing each group, particularly in light of the recent adult basic education and English as a second language funding cuts.

They also highlighted struggles students have with financial aid and student loan interest rates in B.C.

“The board of governors is continually forced to make challenging decisions regarding tuition fees due to the provincial funding cuts to post-secondary institutions, but these cuts should not be offloaded onto the backs on students,” said Chelsea Grisch, executive chairperson for the Okanagan College Students Union.

“Especially given how large student debts have grown over the past decade, and how tuition fees are an upfront barrier to accessing education.”

But the students’ union also contends the true architect of the challenges faced by post-secondary institutions across B.C. is the provincial government.

The board had previously raised tuition fees for the 2014-15 academic year by two per cent for domestic students and eight per cent for international students.


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