Private Universities and Colleges

In February 2000, the Government of Alberta announced that it had issued degree-granting status to DeVry Institute of Technology, a for-profit company. For the first time ever in Canada, a privately owned and operated, for-profit corporation will be allowed unregulated degree-granting status. On April 28, 2000, the Ontario government approved the establishment of private, degree-granting post-secondary institutions “including for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.” On April 11, 2002, the BC government announced that degree-granting authority would be extended to for-profit businesses. The basic purpose of a for-profit business is, by definition, to generate income for its shareholders. It follows that the basic purpose of a private university is ‘return on investment’; such profits can only be realised with high user-fees.

Ontario, Alberta and BC will be testing grounds for the first two-tiered education system since the establishment of Canada’s post-secondary education system. In other examples of two-tiered social programs, the cost associated with private alternative is so prohibitive that only the wealthiest citizens can afford to gain access. In the United States, private universities charge tuition fees that average over $20,000 per year.

If you would like to be involved in this or any other campaign, please join the GSU External Relations Committee by contacting your Director of Communications.