Budget Fails to Address Quality Crisis in Post Secondary Education in Ontario
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) – Media Release
Budget Fails to Address Quality Crisis in Post Secondary Education in Ontario: Investing in buildings will not remedy the problems facing Ontario universities
For Immediate Release March 25, 2008
TORONTOâ€“ â€œThis budget missed the point. New buildings are not enough. For students to receive the quality education they deserve, sufficient academic staff need to be hired,â€ said Professor Brian E. Brown, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).
â€œThe only way to reduce class sizes and improve student-faculty ratios is to hire more faculty now,â€ continued Brown. â€œAll we are asking is that students have access to the same quality of education as their parents did.â€
Just as in 2003, Ontario ranks last in Canadian funding of universities, per capita. Student-faculty ratios in Ontario continue to be the worst in the country at 26 students for every faculty member, compared with 22 students in the rest of Canada and 16 students in American peer institutions. Class sizes continue to increase. Ontario students reported 28 percent lower levels of interaction with faculty than students at peer institutions in the United States.
â€œThe Reaching Higher plan was a good beginning, but the government has not followed through. The very least this budget should have contained $440 million to hire the 5,500 new tenure stream faculty that are required to bring Ontarioâ€™s 2009-10 student-faculty ratios to the Canadian average and ensure that students receive the high standard of educational experience they deserve,â€ said Professor Brown.
â€œWithout this funding, university students across the province will see their class sizes grow even larger, they will have even less interaction with their increasingly transient faculty and their education will suffer,â€ Brown warned.
The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations represents more than 15,000 professors and academic librarians.
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