NDP Leader Cam Broten committed to a comprehensive plan to support university and college students Wednesday – one that will lower tuition fees, cut student debt and put more money in the pockets of students and recent graduates.
“If we don’t get it right for university and college students, we don’t get it right for Saskatchewan’s future,” said Broten. “Under the Sask. Party, it’s gotten harder and harder for students and new graduates to get ahead. We must do better. Not only for our children but for Saskatchewan’s economy.”
Broten’s pledge for post-secondary students includes:
• A $1,000 annual scholarship for Saskatchewan post-secondary students;
• Converting all provincial student loans to grants;
• Eliminating interest on all student loans; and
• A commitment to, in consultation with students, faculty and institutions, regulate tuition fees.
Broten said his affordability plan – including lower-cost utility bills – will also mean students have more money in their pockets every month.
Under the Sask. Party, average tuition fees rose to the second-highest in the country. In many fields, including Nursing (18 per cent higher) and Education (30 per cent higher), Saskatchewan students pay significantly more than students in the rest of Canada. Saskatchewan is the only province, besides PEI, whose students face unregulated tuition fee increases.
“Instead of making the Sask. Party’s friends and consultants richer, I want to help Saskatchewan's young people have a better start,” said Broten. “We can strengthen the knowledge economy and ensure a stronger, fairer and kinder province.”