Rising Tuition: Implications for Access and Career Choice for Manitoba Students

The vast majority of the literature reviewed concludes that increasing tuition fees has a negative impact on enrollment rates for low income students and can impact career choice, diverting students from ‘public interest’ careers that may have lower salaries but address more pressing social needs. The significance of this is that while on the one hand universities help to produce the wherewithal of modern industry and culture, they also create the conditions for an ongoing critique of their own creation. Increasing tuition fees will likely force more and more of our students to seek positions/jobs with those who can and will pay them enough to cover the escalating costs of their education. The diverting of more and more of our resources to private sector, for-profit enterprises will in turn have an effect on the role of social and economic critic so essential to the university system and civil society in general. Examples of potential direct effects include fewer family physicians and more less necessary physician specialists, more corporate lawyers and accountants protecting the freedom to pollute and evade taxes and fewer environmental/labour/public interest lawyers and accountants providing independent expertise on these issues.

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