NEWS RELEASES

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April 29th, 2022

Minimal Support for College Students in PC Budget

TORONTO, ON – On Thursday April 28th the governing Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, led by Premier Doug Ford, released a budget and election platform that detailed minimal support for the province’s college students. Despite consistent advocacy from the post-secondary sector to improve conditions and the government itself referring to college students as being integral to the post-pandemic economic recovery of Ontario, the budget provided minimal support for college students.

“Actions speak louder than words. What is clear from this budget is that the current government is not prioritizing college students, especially international college students, who continue to be exploited by the colleges and the government,” said Eli Ridder, President of the College Student Alliance.

Click below to read the whole statement.

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April 20th, 2022

Student Organizations Across the Country Release a Joint Publication on Student Financial Aid

TORONTO, ON -- In a time of consistent financial precarity, nine student advocacy organizations across Canada have come together to release Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on the Changing Landscape of Student Financial Aid.

 

This year's publication looks at how both provincial and federal governments can strengthen financial aid programs and frameworks to equitably distribute funding that targets students’ needs, especially following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click below to read the whole statement.

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March 31st, 2022

CSA Calls on the Government to Act to Protect Ontario's International Students

TORONTO, ON -- The College Student Alliance (CSA), the voice of Ontario's college students, is calling on the Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop to act now to protect international students.

"International students are a crucial part of Ontario's post-pandemic recovery. CSA encourages Minister Dunlop to support international students now," said Eli Ridder, President of CSA.

Click below to read the whole statement.

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March 15th, 2022

CSA Issues Letter to Minister of Colleges & Universities Calling on the Province to Act in College Labour Dispute

TORONTO, ON -- The College Student Alliance (CSA) the voice of Ontario's college students, is calling on Minister of Colleges and Universities Jill Dunlop to act now to support college students as College Faculty announce strike deadline.

"Students should be the priority during this process. CSA encourages college faculty and the colleges themselves to come back to the table and negotiate to avoid a strike," said Eli Ridder, President of CSA.

Click below to read the whole statement.

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March 8th, 2022

Joint Statement on Promoting Menstrual Equity in Ontario Post-Secondary Schools

TORONTO, ON -- CSA, together with the Toronto Youth Cabinet, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, and all of Ontario's 44 University and College student unions, issued a joint statement calling on the Government of Ontario to require all post-secondary institutions to provide free menstrual products campus wide.

Click below to read the whole release.

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March 4th, 2022

CSA Response to the FAO Expenditure Monitor Report for 2021-22

TORONTO, ON -- Last week, the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) released their Expenditure Monitor 2021-22: Q3 Report.

 

This report provides a detailed overview of the Province’s current spending plan for 2021-22, and analyzes the Province’s spending over first three quarters of the fiscal year, from Apr 1, 2021 to Dec 31, 2021.

Click below to read the whole release.

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February 24th, 2022

CSA Responds to Ongoing Situation in Ukraine

TORONTO, ON -- CSA stands in solidarity with Ukrainian #students and the greater #Ukrainian #community in this trying time. 
 

If you are an #international #student, know that CSA and your #Student #Associations are ready to support you.

Click below to read the whole release

Market Analysis

February 15th, 2022

CSA Responds to Q3 Ontario Budget Update

TORONTO, ON – Yesterday, the Minister of Finance, Peter Bethlenfalvy announced the 2021-22 Third Quarter Finances report, which details information on Ontario’s projected 2021-22 fiscal outlook.
 

This report comes issued shortly after Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s report on the state of the college sector, and its heavy reliance on increasing international student tuition to compensate for decades long funding cuts from the Ontario government. These fees alone totaled $1.7 billion last year, which was more than what the province provided to the colleges in funding grants.

 

Click below to read the whole release.

Reviewing Reports at Desk

December 6th, 2021

CSA Responds to Auditor General's Report on College Sectors Reliance on International Students

TORONTO, ON -- Ontario’s Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk reported that due to decades long cuts from the Government of Ontario the burden of funding colleges has fallen on international students. International students, who make up about 30 per cent of the student body at Ontario’s 24 colleges, provide 68 per cent of all tuition revenue. Their fees alone were worth $1.7-billion last year, more than the colleges received in provincial grants. In addition to financial difficulties international students face significant barriers in terms of being limited in their ability to work by the federal government to overall systemic support.

 

CSA believes that if college students are to be part of the post-pandemic recovery the solution overall is that per-student funding and support must increase, this means reducing tuition and providing OSAP grants not loans, returning our “publicly-assisted” sector back to “public” and provide stability to the sector.

 

Click below to read the whole release.

Female College Students

December 2nd, 2021

Ontario's International Students Need Support to be Part of Provincial Recovery

TORONTO, ON -- The reliance on international students to fund Ontario’s colleges poses serious financial risks and potentially devastating impacts to the college sector. In her latest report, Ontario’s Auditor-General Bonnie Lysyk found that international students provide 68 per cent of all tuition revenue for Ontario’s colleges, despite making up only 30 per cent of its student body. International student fees have reached staggering peaks, climbing to $1.7 billion last year alone, which is in fact higher than the amount of provincial grants that Ontario’s colleges received.

 

Click below to read the whole release.

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September 30th, 2021

A Message from our President on Truth & Reconciliation Day

TORONTO, ON -- Today, college staff, faculty, and students are coming together on Truth & Reconciliation Day to acknowledge the true traumatic legacy of residential schools on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children, families, and communities. It also marks our need to continue the global discussion on creating bridges with each other for reconciliation.

 

The recent discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves at the sites of former residentials schools across Canada has finally awoken the nation to the calls for truth & reconciliation that have been resounding for decades/generations. The incredible harm that has been done to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities has also profoundly been felt across Ontario’s colleges. There is real anger, frustration, and hurt felt amongst students, staff, and faculty, and it is clear that Canada still has a long way to go.

 

We must do better.

 

Ontario’s college student associations are committed to doing everything in their power to ensure that the nation fulfills the calls to action put forward by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada, across our campuses and in our communities.

 

While these outcomes will take time to develop, there is a strong, shared commitment for the future. Our college student associations will continue to work with our Indigenous partners to ensure that colleges are culturally and socially inclusive places for all students. CSA will continue to advocate for all of Ontario’s college students during this turbulent time. We must come together to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit students in their post-secondary studies. We will continue to call on our membership to continue open discussion on truth and reconciliation across all platforms.

 

To Ontario’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit students, I want you to know that CSA is here for you, and that we will support your voice and advocate for your rights.

 

Sincerely,

 

Eli Ridder President

College Student Alliance

 

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About College Student Alliance:  

College Student Alliance (CSA) advocates on behalf of Ontario college students in partnership with student leaders. Through our member student associations, CSA represents the collective voice of Ontario's college students.  

 

Contact:   

Eli Ridder (he/ him) 

President

College Student Alliance 

E: president@collegestudentalliance.ca 

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April 16th, 2021

Student organizations across the country release a joint publication on supporting students during and after COVID-19

TORONTO, ON – After a year of unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ten student organizations across Canada have released Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on Supporting Students During and After COVID-19.

 

“I am proud to report that CSA has been working harmoniously with other student advocacy groups across the country to put together this document that outlines key issues that students are facing today,” says CSA President, Tori Arnett. “This is an ongoing collaborative project that we are honored to be a part of.”

 

This publication looks at how governments, institutions, and higher-education stakeholders can better support students and recent graduates as Canada responds to and recovers from COVID-19. Post-secondary students across Canada share their perspectives on issues facing the sector, including student mental health, quality of online learning, student financial aid, and support for marginalized students. 

 

Shared Perspectives includes contributions from: 

  • the Alliance of BC Students (ABCS):

  • the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA): 

  • the College Student Alliance (CSA):

  • the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS): 

  • the Manitoba Alliance of Post-Secondary Students (MAPSS): 

  • the New Brunswick Student Alliance (NBSA): 

  • the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA): 

  • Students Nova Scotia (StudentsNS):

  • l’Union étudiante du Québec (UEQ): and 

  • the University of Prince Edward Island Student Union (UPEISU). 

 

Shared Perspectives highlights the unique challenges post-secondary students have faced while navigating COVID-19 on both a national and provincial level. It draws upon students’ experiences with remote learning and emphasizes the need for all students, across Canada, to have access to high-quality post-secondary education and receive the support they require to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Students urge the federal and provincial governments to provide targeted supports to students and recent graduates so they can contribute to the long-term economic recovery of the country. Students and recent graduates will play an important role in Canada’s economy and society post-pandemic, so federal and provincial governments must invest in them now. 

 

Shared Perspectives: A Joint Publication on Supporting Students During and After COVID-19 is a joint report from ten partners, representing over 600,000 students. To view the full report, visit CSA’s website at collegestudentalliance.ca.

 

 

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About College Student Alliance:  

College Student Alliance (CSA) advocates on behalf of Ontario college students in partnership with student leaders. Through our member student associations, CSA represents the collective voice of Ontario's college students.  

 

Contact:   

Jason Baryluk (he/ him) 

Interim General Manager 

College Student Alliance 

E: advocacy@collegestudentalliance.ca 

C: 647-888-6922

Spring Fashion

March 24th, 2021

Ontario’s College Students Need Support to be Part of Provincial Recovery

TORONTO, ON – One year into the pandemic, college students are still in need of essential support from the Government of Ontario. This afternoon, the Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance, presented the 2021 Ontario Budget that outlined the government’s investments for this coming year. While the College Student Alliance (CSA) understands that this year’s budget is focused on health care it lacks new and direct measures to assist college students.

“We certainly appreciate the funding the government has provided, especially in mental health,” said Tori Arnett, President of CSA, “The government needs to address the systemic issues in the post-secondary sector; that means providing the funding that makes our institutions public again and no longer publicly-assisted.”

The government announced four specific commitments towards post-secondary students, OSAP funding for Micro-credentials, virtual learning funding, a commitment to the existing investments into mental health, and institutional infrastructure funding. CSA appreciates that the government has acknowledged the challenges in re-training, mental health, and quality of education; but more needs to be done to provide immediate support to college students.

CSA would welcome new funding in the area of post-secondary mental health and would encourage increased annual funding health to ensure students’ mental health needs are met past the pandemic. As well, CSA is hopeful that the government will continue to increase the annual funding received by post-secondary institutions to promote the financial sustainability of the post-secondary sector and affordable tuition for international students. Most importantly, as student financial struggles continue to rise, CSA would encourage new funding in the area of expanded OSAP grants, especially for Indigenous students.

College students will be an integral part of Ontario’s post-pandemic recovery, the government must give them the assistance to accomplish this. A skilled student population with the required support to successfully graduate and enter the workforce is essential in the rebuilding of our province. If enacted, CSA’s recommendations will help to ensure that college students are adequately supported to complete their programs and contribute to a brighter future for Ontario.

-30-

About College Student Alliance:

College Student Alliance (CSA) advocates on behalf of Ontario college students in partnership with student leaders. Through our member student associations, CSA represents the collective voice of Ontario's college students.

Contact:

Jason Baryluk (he/ him)
Interim General Manager
College Student Alliance
E: advocacy@collegestudentalliance.ca C: 647-888-6922

Students on Campus

January 28th, 2021

CSA applauds the Ontario Government in strengthening sexual violence and harassment policies at post-secondary institutions

TORONTO, ON ​- The Government of Ontario announced amendments to Regulation 131/16 that will strengthen sexual violence policies at post-secondary institutions to better protect survivors of sexual violence

CSA is delighted to see the need for survivor-centric sexual violence policies addressed at post-secondary institutions, with the recent amendments to Regulation 131/16. This regulation stipulates that all postsecondary institutions have a sexual violence policy in place, however ​institutional policies often differ fundamentally, which provides room for insufficiencies, loopholes, and reporting errors.

Inadequacies in sexual violence policies can make survivors of sexual violence more vulnerable, prevent access to supports for survivors with specific needs, and make the reporting process more difficult. The recent amendments provide additional safeguards will be enforced at all postsecondary institutions in Ontario.

In previous government submissions, CSA has highlighted the ​need for further government oversight from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that all sexual violence prevention policies at institutions are comprehensive and effective,​ and do not cause further harm or retraumatization.

CSA is hopeful that these changes will spark further dialogue on how sexual violence policies can more effectively address the needs of students through a survivor-centric and intersectional lens. Future policy amendments should continue to draw from consultation with student groups and experts in the area of gender-based violence, such as the national initiative Courage to Act. Future improvements could include:

  • Mandatory sexual violence training for decision-makers or investigators.

  • Protections from face-to-face encounters.

  • Clearly defined rights of those affected by gender-based violence with survivor-centric measures in

    place.

  • Anonymous or third-party reporting.

     

For further information on the amendments to Regulation 131/16 and how to be involved in consultations, follow this link: ​https://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?language=fr&postingId=35987

Taking Notes during a Virtual Meeting

December 14th, 2020

CSA applauds the government’s investment in a Virtual Learning Strategy for Post-Secondary Education

TORONTO, ON - The Government announced a $50 million investment into a Virtual Learning Strategy that will enhance virtual learning at Ontario’s publicly-assisted colleges, universities, and Indigenous Institutes and will improve the virtual learning experience for Ontario’s students. 

 

"The College Student Alliance is pleased to hear the government's acknowledgement and commitment to change the issues that students are facing as we forge a new path with an on-line modality of learning in the post-secondary sector,” says CSA President, Tori Arnett. “It's a great start to be able to formulate new plans, programming and initiatives for students to be able to get the most out of their college experience."

 

The quick pivot to virtual learning when the pandemic first began was wrought with logistical issues and a decreased quality of learning that left many students dissatisfied and unable to fully participate in their classes. Since then, additional planning and resources have improved the online learning experience, which has now become the new normal for students.

 

Despite these improvements, challenges remain. Students are still struggling to learn within a modality that is not their preferred learning style, with decreased interaction with teachers and peers. This is why CSA is grateful to see an investment into a Virtual Learning Strategy that will improve the virtual learning experience for students and help them succeed in their academic careers. 

 

This past August, CSA participated in a consultation with the Ministry of College and Universities on Virtual Learning. CSA brought several ideas to the table on how virtual learning could be improved to benefit students, which included assistive supports for students with disabilities and open access reading materials. CSA recommended that the provincial government create standards for virtual-hybrid course delivery at colleges and provide resources to develop institutional expertise and faculty education in virtual delivery that would help advance high quality virtual education at Ontario colleges. 

 

We are delighted to see this recommendation acknowledged, and we are hopeful that this strategy will address the specific learning needs of students with disabilities, mature students, Indigenous students, international students, and students in rural and remote areas. “The CSA looks forward to seeing more help from the provincial government to assist the continually struggling college students of Ontario,” says Arnett.

 

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About College Student Alliance:  

College Student Alliance (CSA) advocates on behalf of Ontario college students in partnership with student leaders. Through our member student associations, CSA represents the collective voice of Ontario's college students.  

 

Contact:   

Jason Baryluk 

Interim General Manager

advocacy@collegestudentalliance.ca 

C: 647-888-6922