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Canadians want to pay less for university, poll finds

The current average cost of university tuition outside Quebec, including mandatory ancillary fees, is about $6,000.

Noel Chenier/New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal/The Associated Press

Most Canadians feel that they should pay a lot less for university tuition, according to a new poll.

Only 17 per cent of respondents to a poll conducted by Forum Research Inc. for The Globe and Mail said they would be willing to pay more than $6,000 for annual tuition for themselves or their children. The majority (58 per cent) said they would pay only $2,000 to $4,000, while 24 per cent said they were not willing to pay more than $2,000.

The current average cost of university tuition outside Quebec, including mandatory ancillary fees, is about $6,000.

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Universities are complaining that they are strapped for cash and are generally restrained by the provinces from increasing fees to ease the burden.

Other findings from the poll of 1,046 Canadian adults:

  • Fifty-three per cent felt that Canadian universities are not focused enough on preparing students for a career, while 20 per cent said they are too career-focused and 27 per cent felt they had the right balance.
  • Thirty-eight per cent felt it is necessary to have a university graduate degree to succeed in a career, compared to 14 per cent who said an undergraduate degree would suffice. A community college program was necessary for a career in the minds of 26 per cent.
  • Forty-six per cent said a university education was of greater benefit to people entering the work force, compared to 31 per cent who said a college education was better.
  • Respondents were split on the issue of tenure for university professors; 51 per cent were against long-term guaranteed employment, while 49 were for it.


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