So, we all know that tuition is terrible because it’s perfectly obviousthat tuition impedes access. Right? I mean, come on. Who doesn’t know this?
Ok, try this on for size:
There have been four jurisdictions that have had major changes in tuition policy in the last fifteen years. Ontario in 1996 (a series of increases from 1996-99 of roughly 20% per annum), Manitoba in 2000 (a 10% cut in tuition with a freeze thereafter), Newfoundland and Labrador in 2000 (a 20% decrease in fees implemented over four years), and British Columbia in 2001 (a 55% increase over two years).
The graph below shows full- and part-time enrolment in those four provinces for three years before and five years after the policy change, indexed to the year of the policy change.
Figure 1 – Changes in Enrolment Near Times of Major Tuition Fee Changes in Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and British Columbia
Amazing, huh? In all four cases, enrolment rose, and in three cases, the policy change made essentially no difference to the pre-change trend (in the fourth, it just preceded a change in the trend, but it’s pretty light).
Here’s the quiz: Match the provinces to the lines on the graph. Which provinces saw rises in tuition and which ones saw declines? Answers tomorrow in the grey box, but the first person who writes in and correctly identifies the four lines before then gets to choose the subject of a future One Thought.
In the meantime, do feel free to give this to anyone you know who’s insufferable about the evils of tuition. Especially if they’re wearing some kind of red square.