• OCUFA releases first-ever public opinion poll on precarious academic work

    … 94 per cent of Ontarians think universities should be model employers and support good jobs in their communities. 88 per cent want part-time professors to be converted into full-time positions. 85 per cent want part-time professors to receive fair pay and 84 per cent believe part-time professors should have the same access to benefits as their full-time colleagues. 64 per cent of Ontarians want to be taught by, or have their child taught by, a full-time professor with job security and benefits…

  • Better data, more full-time hiring, increased investment [Ontario universities]

    Increase per-student public investment in Ontario’s universities to the rest of Canada average by 2020-21… Support universities to bring Ontario’s student-faculty ratio in line with the rest of Canada average by 2020-21 by hiring 8,510 new full-time faculty members… Ensure fairness for contract faculty by strengthening employment and labour law… Establish a new higher education data agency mandated to collect, analyze, and disseminate key information on Ontario’s universities.

  • Two new reports highlight Ontario’s rising tuition fees

    According to Statistics Canada, average undergraduate tuition fees in Ontario are now $7,868, the highest in Canada. The Canadian average without Ontario is $5,178. In addition, fees in Ontario went up 4.0 per cent between 2014-15 and 2015-16, compared to a 3.2 per cent increase nationally… As OCUFA reported this past February, tuition fees surpassed public funding as a source of university revenue in Ontario for the first time this year.

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    Ontario tuition high, but still affordable

    … tuition in Ontario might appear higher than other jurisdictions, [but] it’s critical to consider the supports students receive to offset the cost of tuition through one of the most progressive and robust student assistance programs in Canada. Our government issued around $1.3 billion in grants and loans last year, and 70 per cent of that assistance was money that students won’t have to repay… Ontario undergraduate students graduate with the third lowest public and private debt.

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    Sex ed curriculum strikes blow to rape culture

    What would it look like if instead of — or at least alongside — rape culture we learned about a culture of consent? This is part of what’s being proposed by the Ontario Education Ministry in its new sex education curriculum… that you have to ask someone if they want to have sex, and they have to answer positively… It’s teaching kids that they have a choice. It’s teaching them that they are agents when it comes to sex, not passive objects

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    Ontario should ensure benefits of fundraising are shared with kids in poor schools

    Education officials should… share the wealth by putting a reasonable limit on unfettered fundraising. Once they reached that level, affluent school supporters could continue raising money, but a percentage of the subsequent revenue would go into a fund to be shared by schools in poorer areas… engaged parents would still be encouraged to raise funds and… a good share of the money (perhaps 50 per cent) would flow to disadvantaged children who stand to benefit most from extracurricular activities.

  • Education prescription misses the mark

    He clearly insists that the essential purpose of our educational system is to funnel our young people to the right place in the marketplace so they might “get an economic foothold.” Ironic perhaps, when one considers that this country’s private sector spends 40 per cent less than all other developed countries in employee training. It appears that corporate tax cuts of almost 50 per cent over the last 30 years still do not allow for such inane responsibilities. Better to co-opt the publicly funded educational system, so that eventually no training costs need be incurred in the private sector.

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    Who’s the customer in higher education? We all are

    The internal debate between the unions and the university administrators is over how to divide the current pot… the TAs and contract profs versus managers, fancy facilities etc. But the public’s stake is rather different… as long as universities need those revenues, they’ll respond with short-term accommodations… universities will never be good job placement agencies. Those tasks belong to business and governments.

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    Canada’s Forgotten Law on Free, Universal Higher Ed

    n May 1976, Canada became a signatory to the UN’s International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Among many other rights, by signing the Covenant, Canada endorsed Article 13, recognizing “the right of everyone to an education.” With clause 2(c), we agreed that “higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education.” … instead of seeing progressive reductions in tuition and other post-secondary costs, we’ve seen them relentlessly rise for almost 40 years — as the result of deliberate government policy.

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    ‘Work-integrated learning’ should replace unpaid internships

    … co-ops, internships, field placements, and others – can improve the “fit” between education and employment and help students achieve their long-term career goals. They are particularly valuable to connect disadvantaged youth to the labour market, and enable new immigrants to gain Canadian experience. They also offer significant benefits to employers, providing a ready-made talent pool for recruitment efforts, and strengthening connections with post-secondary institutions.