Tuition costs in Quebec for both college and university are the lowest in Canada with an average university tuition of $2,731 per session according to Stats Canada (http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110916/t110916b2-eng.htm) . However, the government wants to raise these tuition prices, starting in 2012, to repair schools that have fallen into disrepair and to help pay for the services that it provides its students. Is this really fair for the students or the families that have to cough up the cash to pay their or their child’s tuition?
In my opinion, I find that’s it’s not fair that they government wants to raise prices because it forces students to choose a career path depending on whether they can afford to be educated for it, and not necessarily on what the student has an interest in. In addition, they may not choose the career path they truly want because they don’t want the stress of having debt once they finish school. Also, students will need to think about whether it is worth it for them to go to college or university by deciding whether their future job will enable them to pay off their debts quickly, and not whether they will actually enjoy their job.
Secondly, I can understand how the government figures that raising the tuition prices in Quebec is fair because other provinces pay much more than we do. However, I think the government forgets is the reason tuition prices in Quebec are lower, which is because are annual income is lower than other provinces. For example according to a poll taken in 2009 by Stats Canada, the median income of families of two or more people in Quebec after taxes is $57,300 where as Ontario’s is $66,200 (see the results on http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/110615/t110615b2-eng.htm). So it makes sense to me that our tuition prices are lower so that families can afford to give their child a higher education. I also understand that the upkeep of schools is paid with part of the tuition that students pay, but how do they figure a sudden increase of $325 per year in tuition fees? It doesn’t sound like much, but if a student needs to attend university for five years, they will have paid $1625 more than past students. This increase, as mentioned earlier, adds pressure on students and their families.
Stress is not a healthy emotion to have in life as it can cause medical complications if one suffers continued stress. Prolonged stress can become “a condition called distress” (Source of information for this paragraph from: http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/effects-of-stress-on-your-body). Symptoms of distress are:
elevated blood pressure
and problems sleeping
If students are under stress and suffer distress, it can hinder their studies and cause them to possibly fail their courses. This is an extreme case but it can happen. According to a survey conducted in 2009 “by Desjardins Financial Security, found that one-third of the 1,062 people surveyed  are experiencing anxiety, losing sleep, suffering from headaches, muscle aches and other physical tension” due to financial stress. If this is true, imagine how many people must be financially stressed now that the economy is not doing that well. Increasing tuitions will only add to the stress that some Canadians are already experiencing and is not something that students need while studying.
In conclusion, tuition hikes may help universities and colleges to keep their schools running, however it will have many negative impacts on students and their families. Knowledge and education are both important, but only one has a price in our society. That is education. Knowledge can be found all around us everyday where as education is simply learning the knowledge that other have already obtained.