University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Free Post Secondary Education in Canada
“Our young people see a mountain of debt due to the cost of books, room and board, and tuition. Thirty percent of our young people choose not to finish high school. ” This is what Raj Sherman, an Alberta Liberals leader stated recently in an article of the Calgary Sun while tackling the issue of “Free Post-Secondary Education”. Everybody wants to be educated for free after high school, and many countries offer it, so why not Canada? It is possible to have free post-secondary education in Canada; it would fit like a glove in our system.
I will explain how and why it should be done, and what limitations will be set in order to make the system work. My reasons are; one, Canada will get more out of what they put in, two, Canada has an aging population and a newer younger workforce is required, and three, Canada needs to be a nation that makes education top priority for the future growth of our country. Firstly, free post-secondary education should be offered because as a country Canada will get more out of what it puts in.
You may ask; how will free post-secondary education be possible in a country where so many perks are given to the citizens, but fear not as I have the answer to that. There is a “Fair Tax” system that the leaders in Alberta are trying to impose on the province where by 2025 there would be free post-secondary education. “It will start off by slashing tuition by $250 for each student, and start to invest a portion of resource revenues in trust funds for post-secondary education through a “Fair Tax”” (Maimann 1).
The “Fair Tax” system is basically a trust fund for post-secondary education, where the Albertans with incomes greater than $100,000 per year, and big companies pay more in provincial taxes which will be put into a fund that’s put towards making post-secondary education free. This “Fair Tax” system is similar to that of Norway’s which has had a huge success with offering free education. Norway began it in 1996, and has grown it to $550 million dollars in the time span of 16 years.
If this “Fair Tax” system is implemented into all of Canada and not just Alberta we can see more results than Norway in a much shorter time. Canada has a lot of different industries from forestry, to mining, to oil production, even fishing, and all these resources could help Canada in its mission to offer free education to the students in Canada. Furthermore by giving free post-secondary education Canada will not limit hundreds of thousands of students from reaching their complete potential.
Many students might have the intelligence to go far, but not have the flexibility financially to assist them there, in which not only is the student affected, but Canada is missing out as well on some of the best candidates for future jobs. Canada can get the best of the best for those jobs by offering free post-secondary education, but not for everyone. This is where limits come in, and Canada gives the free education only to those who meet the specific requirements grades wise for each program.
That way money isn’t wasted on people who won’t commit to the programs, or won’t be able to complete those programs. Canada will become for economically stable as the workforce will have very highly skilled and educated workers, and no talent is missed out on so as a country we’ll be basically hitting two birds with one stone. This is one reason why Canada should offer free post-secondary education. Secondly, free post-secondary education should be offered because Canada has an aging population and a newer younger workforce is required. Canada’s most recent baby boom was during the years 1940-1965.
The babies from then are now all slowly going into retirement as the youngest are in their late 40’s. All of these employees will soon go into retirement and a whole new workforce consisting of younger individuals is needed, and having a free post-secondary education system will allow Canada to have that new workforce made of the best possible candidates for each duty. This free educational system for those students that can show required marks from high school for the course they want will give Canada a limitless amount of fresh talent for its own use.
If this “free post-secondary education” system cannot be instilled in the coming years, it’d still be of great use for the students in high school right now; as they would most likely have a family to support by the year 2025 which Calgary projects to be the year post-secondary education is completely free in Alberta. That way they won’t have to worry about bringing kids into the world and not being able to support them later on because their education will be free all their kids have to do is work hard and earn their grades.
Recently the mayor of Saint John’s stated in an article by CBC News; “When I taught high school three years ago, most people were saying they weren’t going to have children because they couldn’t afford to educate them. ” This shows that a lot of students nowadays are planning on not having children as they won’t be able to afford to educate them, therefore letting them down as parents. So to stop the future suffering of in debt children they decide to just not have kids at all. Stats Can statistics reveal that the population of Saint John’s fell by 0. 2% between 2001 to 2006.
In this same article the following is stated, “The mayor of Saint John is urging the provincial government to offer free tuition as a way to spur on a baby boom after the latest demographic portrait of the southern city shows it is not growing very quickly (“CBC News” 1) If this were to be true Canada could have another baby boom similar to the one in the mid 1900’s, and it’ll be because of free post-secondary education, these new babies are the future of our country, and supplying them with the best possible education we will be bettering our future work force.
Canada should stop acting like blind bats and take the free post-secondary education into consideration because the demographics of Canada could be impacted in a very positive way if free education was offered. This is yet another reason why Canada should offer free post-secondary education. Lastly, free post-secondary education should be offered because Canada has to be a nation that gives education the uppermost priority to improve the future development of our country.
By giving education the superiority over anything else in the country we will have a positive chain effect on our country. By giving it the top priority we will be enhancing our workforce and adding the best workers possible for each job, not only that, but with a really blooming, and bright workforce our economy will be able to grow and compete with larger countries with a lot more capital than us.
This will improve our country and give it an even higher position on the map, by moving up from being just a “Middle-Power Country”. This free post-secondary education doesn’t only have a positive chain effect on our economy, but it also has a good effect on bettering the citizens of Canada because by having more highly educated people, they’re more likely to vote, and can make more informed decisions in life making them better citizens for our country.
The citizens of Canada will also be better off in life with this free post-secondary education and will not have to depend on the government as a high percentage of people already do. Also giving people a free post-secondary education will result in a lot more social progress, and all progress depends on knowledge, which they will be obtaining through the free post-secondary education programs. Making education top priority is a good reason why Canada should offer free post-secondary education.
Now you may argue about the fact that even if you do pay this new amount of tax, what difference would it make if the students don’t take it seriously since it’s free education. Well to counter that, there will be limitations set on the free education given. If you meet the grade requirements for the certain course you want to take then you will be able to enroll into it and only if you’re a top candidate will you be given an opportunity at that course with free post-secondary education.
If not, then another program that suites your educational needs will be given to you for free, through this the best of the best will be chosen and given opportunities in each type of job, whether it be a spot in Med or Law school, University, or College, if you meet the specified requirements you will be accepted and given the free education. Not only that but the tax payers themselves will most likely have a family of their own, in which it consists of someone related to you having to go get a post-secondary education, and instead of paying for the tuition, dorms, and books you just have an increase in taxes.
Now who wouldn’t want a free education? A lot of issues can be tackled with a free post-secondary education in tact in our system, which is why Canada should offer free post-secondary education. In conclusion, many arguments could be made against the “Free” post-secondary education policy if passed by Canada, but all of those arguments would be overshadowed by the “For” arguments for this specific topic. A free post-secondary education will have a much better effect on Canada in all aspects not just economically but for the citizens themselves.
Tackling many issues and bringing Canada back on top of the “Best Places To Live” list where we once were, but are now overtaken by many countries, which include Norway, Sweden, and Denmark in the top 5, all countries that offer “Free” post-secondary education. The world is like a stage, each country must shine and out do the other country to be recognized the best country on Earth. By thinking all the facts over, it would in fact be more effective for Canada to offer free post-secondary education in order to arvest more complete workers into our workforce, and bettering our country economically. Opportunity knocks on Canada’s door; to turn it into an even better country than it already is, now it’s up to us to take complete advantage of something like this. To conclude, Canada would be a much better country in all aspects if free education was implemented into our system, it would take a wise fool not to add such a perk. For all facts and proof stated Canada should offer free post-secondary education.