Sid Ryan: The case for zero tuition
In Ireland, where I’m from, education is free from kindergarten through university. It seems absurd to me that we charge our young people any college or university fees at all, given that their skills and knowledge will propel our economy.
There are 20 developed countries in the OECD that currently charge zero or nominal fees for higher learning. However, here in Canada, free tuition continues to be treated like a radical idea, while the more than 150,000 students who have been striking in Québec for the past 15 weeks to stop fee increases have been chided by politicians and pundits alike for harboring a sense of “entitlement.”
Isn’t it time to consider free and universal access to college and university in the same way it universalized high school education at the beginning of the last century? Isn’t it time that profitable corporations were obliged by law to invest in workplace-based training such as apprenticeship and basic skills?