News Release Archive

The federal government should not let recent moves by some 
provinces to limit student access to higher education go
unpunished, says the Maritime Provinces Higher Education
Commission (MPHEC).

That recommendation will be made by the MPHEC when it appears
before the senate sub-committee on post-secondary education in
Halifax on Wednesday.

The MPHEC is reacting to Quebec's announcement it intends to
introduce higher fees for out-of-province students. British
Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec also have put
restrictions on loans available to students who want to study
outside their home provinces.

"These actions are not in the best interests of students or the
country," interim MPHEC chair Dr. David Cameron said.

A draft of the MPHEC report to the sub-committee includes a
recommendation for the federal government to consider reducing
funding resources for post-secondary education from provinces
that restrict pan-Canadian mobility, either by charging excessive
fees to out-of province students or restricting loans to students
who study outside their home province.

In the preamble to the recommendation, the report states: "The
sharing of experiences and student life by people from all parts
of the country is an important contribution to the education
process, as well as to national unity. Any actions that militate
against this mobility are bad for the nation."

"Our students are already being hurt by higher tuition costs;
they are burdened with increased debt, and now they are also
facing threats to access and mobility." said Dr. Cameron, who is
also a political science professor at Dalhousie University.

He said the actions are short-sighted. "They are not in the best
interests of the students or of the country. Increasingly our
world is driven by knowledge-based industries. We want Canada to
be able to compete. We want our children to have a decent future.
We should all be working together to make that happen."

"Instead, we seem to be facing new roadblocks. We are in danger
of having education become a privilege of an elite, and of seeing
regions and provinces pitted against each other," he said.

The MPHEC is currently undertaking a study of barriers to
post-secondary education, scheduled for completion in April.

The MPHEC was formed in 1973 with members from the three Maritime 
provinces, including representative of the provincial
governments, universities, students and the general public.

"The MPHEC will bring to the sub-committee a broad view of the
existing situation and its problems. We represent a cross-section
of Maritimers and, for nearly 25 years, we have been helping the
whole Maritime region in the efficient and effective allocation
of education resources," Dr. Cameron said.


Contact: Dr. David Cameron  902-494-6626

trp                        Feb. 17, 1997 - 2:30 p.m.