Home > Musings > “Cheap and Accessible”

“Cheap and Accessible”

Here comes a rant…

One of the many purported virtues of Canada is our “cheap and accessible” post-secondary education system, especially when compared with the United States’ obscene tuition costs. To those who promote Canada as a nation of accessible education, I will concede that our tuition is much lower. Many of my friends here in Montréal are here because even as an international student, education is cheaper here than in the US. Yes, it’s cheaper here. Is it good enough? No.

Tuition fees, however, are another rant entirely. This one is about textbooks, and the McGill bookstore.

This semester alone, I will be spending close to $800 on books alone. Hardly bang for your buck – cheap and accessible my ass.

Last semester, I paid $100 for a textbook that was about 1/2″ thick, and that wasn’t even at the campus bookstore. Had it been, I’m sure I would have paid more. This is why monopolies suck.

Where the hell does McGill get off, gouging its students so badly on books? Last I checked, universities are not profit-making institutions.

It has been pointed out that perhaps publishers, and not campus bookstores are to blame. In that case, we need to start putting some serious pressure on book publishers to be less ridiculous with their prices.

Bottom line: if we are going to claim to have cheap and accessible education, let’s make sure that it is actually cheap and accessible.



  1. Steve
    18/10/2010 at 6:45 pm

    use the library?

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: