Letters to the Editors

Balance student interests with other issues

Re: “Costs don’t add up,” (November 2, 2010)

Dear Editors,

I appreciate Ms. Blais’s idealism in suggesting that university should be free to students.

The reality of the situation is that Ontario faces a massive budget deficit, and must make decisions that balance what everyone wants.

For instance, there is a shortage of family doctors in Canada. If you were a working professional without a family doctor, would you prefer university students had free education, or that there were more money available to hire more doctors?

Balance is necessary, and for this reason I don’t understand why there is the belief that we are entitled to free education. A high school education is required to be able to perform at an adequate level, but a university education is an investment that benefits both society and the student.

I agree that the exorbitant fees charged by universities in the United States are obscene, but why shouldn’t the cost of education at least be shared? If the benefits of investment in education affect both society and individuals, is it ethical for society to share the full cost of this investment?

Ultimately, some responsibility for paying for university rests on the student. When we get something for free, we often don’t value it as much as if we had paid for it. Tuition, room and board can definitely be a hardship (I know, as I’m fully funding my own education), but I also value my experience much more as a result.

James Simpson, ArtSci ’11

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.