Data check: We’re number last!

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The latest data from the Canadian Association of University Business Officers (CAUBO) indicates that Ontario’s per-student provincial operating funding for 2012-13 was 35 per cent less than the average in the rest of Canada. When it comes to funding levels, we are the undisputed kings of the basement.

After the deep cuts imposed by Mike Harris in the mid-1990s, Ontario was vying for last place. Although the Liberals’ Reaching Higher plan offered a short-term catch-up, the gap between Ontario’s per-student funding and the average in the rest of Canada has been steadily widening since 2007-08. We’re now running away with last place.

Preliminary figures for 2013-14 indicate that Ontario has gained slightly on the second-to-last province, but the overall gap with the national average remains essentially unchanged. If provincial budget estimates for 2014-15 are any indication, the gap will widen even further: Ontario’s spending on post-secondary operating funds will barely increase while the weighted average increase in the rest of Canada will be 2.5 per cent.

Enrolment: Statistics Canada, Postsecondary Student Information System; Association of Atlantic Universities; Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada; BC Higher Education Accountability Dataset; Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire; Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
Finance: Canadian Association of University Business Officers, Financial Information of Universities and Colleges; BC Ministry of Advanced Education; Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; Provincial government Budget Estimates; Provincial government Public Accounts; Québec Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de la Science

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