OCUFA releases its 2013 Budget recommendations

Posted on March 29, 2013 in Education Debates, Equality Debates

OCUFA.on.ca – research-publications/ocufa-report (Volume 7, Issue 11)
March 27, 2013

Last week, OCUFA made its official submission to the Government of Ontario’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (SCFEA). Titled Preserving the Gains We’ve Made, the submission contains a plan to dramatically increase the quality and affordability of Ontario’s universities by 2020.

Key recommendations include:
– The Government of Ontario immediately begin moving per-student public investment in universities towards the national average.
– The Government of Ontario commit funding to hiring new full-time faculty members in order to bring the student-to-faculty ratio in line with the Canadian average.
– Freeze tuition fees, provide compensatory funding to universities for lost tuition fee revenue, and consult stakeholders on a new funding framework.
– Enhance support for university-based basic research.
– Respect the collective bargaining rights of faculty associations, preserving responsible local negotiations that have worked so well.
– Allow the MTCU-funded OCUFA pension research project to be completed prior to introducing pension reforms in the university sector.

The OCUFA plan contains both minimum and maximum yearly investments, which allows the government to scale its investment according to its fiscal circumstances.

The official date for the 2013 Ontario Budget has not yet been set, but it is expected in April. We will be providing complete analysis of the new budget as soon as it is released.

Read the full submission: < http://ocufa.on.ca/wordpress/assets/OCUFA-Pre-Budget-Submission-to-SCFEA-2013-FINAL.pdf >

Data Check: Federal budget comes up short on research dollars
Funding for basic research is the cornerstone of knowledge creation and innovation. Unfortunately, the federal government is doubling down on commercialization and letting basic research languish.

At Canadian universities, the largest chunk of public funding earmarked for university research comes from the federal government. In 2011-12, federal grants and contracts accounted for three-quarters of public research funding to Ontario universities.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) Alternative Federal Budget 2013 tells us that the federal granting councils responsible for allocating research funding based on peer-review criteria receive between one and eleven per cent less than they did in 2007. To reverse the cuts the Alternative Budget proposes an immediate 10 per cent increase in support to the research and granting councils. Including increases to graduate scholarships, the proposed increase is almost $250 million.

Federal Budget 2013 pays no heed. What “new” funding is promised for the granting councils is headed towards support for “research partnerships with industry,” not basic, curiousity-driven research. If the government’s Main Estimates for 2013-14 are anything to go by, their support for research is still three per cent lower. Budget 2013 continues the transformation of the National Research Council into a handmaiden of business.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Alternative Federal Budget 2013
Council of Ontario Finance Officers, Financial Report of Ontario Universities
Government of Canada, Budget 2013
Government of Canada, Government Expenditure Plan and Main Estimates, 2013-14

< http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ca9b5c14da55e36f1328eb0f1&id=488f71fae3&e=[UNIQID] >

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