New private member’s bill argues for a new higher education information portal

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MPP Yvan Baker has introduced a private member’s bill calling for the creation of a centralized portal for information on higher education in Ontario. The Bill suggests that 12 data points be collected and publicized in a single location for the benefit of students and their families.

OCUFA supports the principle behind that bill- that more data should be made publicly available on Ontario’s universities. In addition to the data included in MPP Baker’s bill – admission rates and entering averages; tuition and ancillary fees; class size and number of instructional faculty; full- and part-time enrolment; and student satisfaction – OCUFA would also like to see more information available on faculty complement, especially the number of contract faculty teaching in Ontario’s universities.

The Bill recommends that the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) operate the information portal. This is a problematic suggestion, as HEQCO lacks the mandate, expertise, and support of the sector to operate such a portal. OCUFA believes that a new, arms-length, and neutral agency be created to monitor any information portal or data system in Ontario’s higher education sector.

Baker’s bill passed second reading and was referred to committee on October 22, 2015. OCUFA will be working with all parties to ensure that final Bill serves the needs of students, faculty, and universities.

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