Post-secondary education is a critical part of Canadian society, as it helps us form a highly educated workforce and socially engaged communities. Because of its importance, we must ensure that Canada’s post-secondary education system is accessible and affordable to all, while remaining innovative and of the highest quality.
In recent years, major investments have been made to reduce the upfront costs of post-secondary education. Federal student assistance is now distributed in a more consistent, targeted and equitable fashion. Most importantly, more of that aid is now delivered in non-repayable grants to students in need. For many, these changes will prove invaluable.
It is in this environment that students are now calling on the government to shift focus to some of the persistent gaps that exist in federal post-secondary support. Targeted action in these areas will ensure that Canada provides equitable access to advanced education, while creating the best learning experience for those already enrolled.
This will mean:
- Effectively defining and supporting students with disabilities;
- Providing needs-based financial assistance to students in graduate programs;
- Cutting red tape to ensure international students can access a complete post-secondary education;
- Committing to the scale and scope of support required by Canada’s treaty obligations to Indigenous peoples; and
- Fostering the development of, and ensuring access to, innovative educational materials.
Canada has created a post-secondary education system that is undoubtedly something to be proud of – but we must continue to do better. By acting to address the above-mentioned gaps, we will.