Lifelong Learning

Do Right By Part-Time Students

It’s time to explore the possibilities of funding students who seek to upskill, develop professionally, and pursue higher education. The reasons for taking on school or training in a part-time basis are numerous and reasonable:

- Working while pursuing further studies can have a reciprocally powerful effect; one stays current in the research thereby becoming more effective in their work, and builds a critical lens for the work they are engaged with (potentially leading to innovative approaches)

- For those with young families, it may not be possible to simply press pause on work to pursue a masters degree or special skills certification. Part time studies allow a person to continue in their chosen careers while meeting commitments to their loved ones.

- Students leaving post-secondary programmes have unprecedented levels of debt. In order to continue to make payments with private lenders, constantly negotiate with the National Student Loan Service Centre, and find a way to pay for additional courses creates an incredible mental strain and undue stress. We want to encourage life-long learners to keep Ontario’s economy strong, but we do not want to create or contribute to a culture of burnout.


Ontario should commit to work for part-time students in the following ways:

- Grants and bursaries. Any little bit could help, and we should encourage folks to continue to upskill and be current with the research in their field

- Require no payments on any outstanding public student debt (I.e. OSAP or other publicly funded financial aid)

- Make it clear to private lenders that their profits will not be built on the backs of students. Launch a review of all policy around financial institutions and student loans/lines of credit.

- Make a commitment to a full policy review of options for students who successfully find work in fields related to their education, looking at international jurisdictions such as Australia, Germany, and Finland



80 votes
101 up votes
21 down votes
Idea No. 53