One student is speaking out after the New Brunswick Student Alliance claimed students from public post-secondary schools are rejecting the inclusion of private schools in the Tuition Access Bursary.
Dalton Heagney, a first-year University of New Brunswick Student, said he believes it depends less on the institution and more on the person who is attending school.
“Because it’s only fair that way. I think since all school costs money, it doesn’t matter where you go,” Heagney said.
“Education is important, everyone should be able to get it. So, if the cost is restricting you, that shouldn’t be allowed, really. So, I think it isn’t fair, I think private colleges should also get funding.”
As of right now, only students from publicly-funded universities and colleges, such as St. Thomas University, UNB, and New Brunswick Community College, can get the TAB.
Many have called this discriminatory, but the New Brunswick Student Alliance said in a press release last Tuesday that students at private institutions receive, on average, 20 per cent more financial support from the government than those who attend public schools.
In a statement, vice-chair of the NBSA Tina Oh said she was shocked the Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Labour, and Training would even consider including these institutions in the TAB funding package.
The premier has refused to publicly commit to students that he will guarantee the implementation of a sliding scale, yet the government is toying with the idea of masking business subsidies as education policy,” she said.
“We reject the notion that they should be included if they do not meet the same standards as our public schools.”
Heagney briefly attended a private college himself last fall and said money was only one factor in why he left.
“I didn’t like the atmosphere there. I’m a laid back person, I like laid-back, but this was almost too much for me, I was eager to learn and I wasn’t learning anything, and it just felt like I was wasting my time there, so I wanted to get out while I could.”
Despite being notorious for trends in low success rates, Heagney still believes private institutions should receive the same or similar funding. He said she does not believe in creating a divide between the two.
“I don’t think it’s fair b/c it’s still school either way. You’re still going to get something from it. And general knowledge you shouldn’t really have to pay for, I think,” Heagney said.
“So, I believe that it isn’t fair. It should work both ways.”