As the University of Toronto’s governing council met yesterday afternoon in Simcoe Hall to discuss extending the institution’s current president David Naylor’s term, which expires in June, a small group of students and staff, dissatisfied with what they say are Naylor’s skewed priorities, gathered outside to rally for a new leader.
“We have a number of concerns, chief amongst which has to do with the affordability of the university,” said Joeita Gupta, a member of U of T’s Fight Fees Coalition, which was formed in response to the arrests of 14 U of T students protesting fee hikes in front of Simcoe Hall in March 2008.
“Year over year, the tuition increases between four and 4.5 per cent for domestic students and well over five per cent for international students,” said Gupta, who is also a member of U of T’s governing council. She and other members of the coalition feel Naylor hasn’t done enough to lobby the province for greater funding for post-secondary education.
The coalition is equally displeased with the university’s proposed changes to fee collection.
Currently, tuition is collected on a per-course basis, but by next year, that could change to a flat fee. “This would represent a 66 per cent tuition increase for students who are taking three or 3.5 courses,” added Gupta.
Gupta feels the university’s current priorities aren’t in line with the community and students need.
“It’s out of sync with a publicly-funded institution,” she said.
“They are losing sight of what they have to do, which is to provide quality, affordable education to everybody.”