Less austerity, more investment in higher education, says Southwestern Ontario

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Today, OCUFA released new poll findings on public attitudes towards higher education and austerity in Southwestern Ontario. Presented at a news conference at the University of Western Ontario, the results indicate that residents of the region do not want the government’s deficit-cutting agenda to compromise the quality of university education in the province.

Key findings include:

  • 69 per cent oppose any deficit-cutting policy that damages the quality of university education in Ontario.
  • 71 per cent of Southwestern Ontario residents oppose cuts to university funding
  •  79 per cent oppose shifting the cost of higher education onto students and their families through higher tuition fees
  •  44 per cent believe that a university funding freeze by government would harm the quality of higher education in the province, compared to 11 per cent who think it would have a positive effect.

Southwestern Ontario residents also support the rights of professors and academic librarians to bargain their contracts free from government interference, with 55 per cent in favour of unfettered local negotiations.

The OCUFA study was conducted December 10th and 14th, 2012 and received 1,518 responses, with 376 in Southwestern Ontario. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 per cent at the 95 per cent confidence interval for the Southwestern Ontario sample. Read the full results.

Tonight (Feb. 6th), OCUFA will also be co-presenting a town hall discussion on austerity and higher education in London, Ontario. We invite all students, staff, and faculty to join us for an evening of discussion and analysis. The event will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in room 2316, Somerville House, University of Western Ontario. More information is also available on the event’s Facebook page.

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