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We must invest in students


Newfoundland and Labrador will usher in a new era of education this fall when post-secondary students here begin receiving grants instead of loans to attend colleges and universities. 

For a province that’s trying to entice students to stay and work here after studying, it’s a progressive step — this is first province in the country to completely eliminate provincial loans.
Now, some are calling on other jurisdictions across the country to follow this lead and progress things even further. The Canadian Federation of Students wants parties to put student debt on their radar during the federal election campaign, with the ultimate goal of abolishing all loans in favour of grants.
Is it realistic to think of a future where Canadians have free education? Some say yes, others — like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation — are not so sure.
“The incentives are backwards. Loans force people to think about how they’ll pay the money back, which pushes them into professions and programs that will allow them to make money when they’re out of university,” said the taxpayers federation’s Atlantic director, Kevin Lacey, speaking about this province’s grants.
“The better way to create jobs is to ... have lower taxes and less regulatory regimes.”
Lacey may be right to be skeptical about just how enticing this grant system will be when it comes to keeping students in the province after graduation. They do need jobs to stay for, after all.
But Lacey seems to be implying that, under grant programs, many graduates will be less likely seek out jobs that allow them to make money after their post-secondary education comes to an end.
While it’s true there may be some students who will view it as a free ride through university, it’s doubtful this logic will hold true for the majority. What’s the point of doing the work to earn a degree or diploma, only to squander it by not going out into the job market? If someone’s career goal is to wait tables or tend bar, they won’t struggle through four years of university to accomplish it.
The federation’s comments seem to sell short the notion that young people want to work in well-paying jobs using the training they’ve worked so hard for, and that’s a damaging thought process when we’re trying to encourage them to help grow the country’s economy.
With many students graduating with massive amounts of debt, and both students and provincial governments calling for change, it’s clear that the current system of loans isn’t working.
If there comes a day when this country throws student loans out the window entirely, it should be businesses and corporations that help governments and students foot the bill.
If we truly do want students to stay and work at home, we have to show them their education is a valuable. Right now, though, it’s the students who have to invest in the country when it should be their country investing in them.

For a province that’s trying to entice students to stay and work here after studying, it’s a progressive step — this is first province in the country to completely eliminate provincial loans.
Now, some are calling on other jurisdictions across the country to follow this lead and progress things even further. The Canadian Federation of Students wants parties to put student debt on their radar during the federal election campaign, with the ultimate goal of abolishing all loans in favour of grants.
Is it realistic to think of a future where Canadians have free education? Some say yes, others — like the Canadian Taxpayers Federation — are not so sure.
“The incentives are backwards. Loans force people to think about how they’ll pay the money back, which pushes them into professions and programs that will allow them to make money when they’re out of university,” said the taxpayers federation’s Atlantic director, Kevin Lacey, speaking about this province’s grants.
“The better way to create jobs is to ... have lower taxes and less regulatory regimes.”
Lacey may be right to be skeptical about just how enticing this grant system will be when it comes to keeping students in the province after graduation. They do need jobs to stay for, after all.
But Lacey seems to be implying that, under grant programs, many graduates will be less likely seek out jobs that allow them to make money after their post-secondary education comes to an end.
While it’s true there may be some students who will view it as a free ride through university, it’s doubtful this logic will hold true for the majority. What’s the point of doing the work to earn a degree or diploma, only to squander it by not going out into the job market? If someone’s career goal is to wait tables or tend bar, they won’t struggle through four years of university to accomplish it.
The federation’s comments seem to sell short the notion that young people want to work in well-paying jobs using the training they’ve worked so hard for, and that’s a damaging thought process when we’re trying to encourage them to help grow the country’s economy.
With many students graduating with massive amounts of debt, and both students and provincial governments calling for change, it’s clear that the current system of loans isn’t working.
If there comes a day when this country throws student loans out the window entirely, it should be businesses and corporations that help governments and students foot the bill.
If we truly do want students to stay and work at home, we have to show them their education is a valuable. Right now, though, it’s the students who have to invest in the country when it should be their country investing in them.

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