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Rising Costs: A Look at Spending at Ontario Universities

The Ontario government announced in 2005 that it would increase operating grants to colleges and universities $1.2 billion by 2009/10, both accomodating enrolment growth and increasing per-student funding. Soon after, the government announced a new tuition framework that allowed tuition fees to increase by an average of 5 per cent per year. As a result, university operating revenue has risen by over $3,000 per student since 2004/05. After adjusting for inflation, this represented a substantial new investment of nearly $2,000 for each student in Ontario‘s universities or an annual increase of 2.4 per cent beyond the general rate of inflation.

Given the pressure to increase investment in post-secondary education, it important to first take stock of how these recent investments in universities were used. To aid this endeavour, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance has analyzed university expenditures from 2004/05 to 2009/10.