New issue of Academic Matters examines importance of public funding for Ontario’s universities

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Ontario’s public postsecondary education system has been evolving for over a century. Core to its development has been a foundation of robust public funding delivered primarily through the provincial government.

The government’s approach to university funding has profound implications for the student experience and research contributions. A government that makes university funding a priority and maintains a high level of public investment is not just investing in institutions and educational outcomes, but in people, their communities, and our collective future.

This spring’s provincial election campaign presented a valuable opportunity to discuss these challenges, so in this issue of Academic Matters we explore why public funding is so important for our universities and how we can work together to make funding postsecondary education a priority for the next government.

The case for publicly funded universities
Graham Cox explains why Ontario’s universities are important public spaces that depend on robust public funding to thrive and how the structure of the funding model impacts their fundamental mandate.

It’s time to invest in a faculty renewal strategy for Ontario’s universities
Gyllian Phillips reflects on the stagnation of full-time faculty hiring at Ontario’s universities and makes a case for the government to invest in a robust faculty renewal strategy.

The public value of public funding for research
Jeff Noonan demonstrates how basic, curiosity-driven research continues to take a backseat to research linked to short-term commercial profit and says we must change how we invest in research.

What happened to the issue of postsecondary education?
André Turcotte and Heather Scott-Marshall discuss the ways that postsecondary education – an issue that affects a majority of Ontarians – could feature more prominently in provincial election campaigns.

Building Solidarity on Ontario’s university campuses
Nour Alideeb illustrates how university administrations often advance unpopular agendas by pitting students against faculty and describes how campus alliances can be used to better advocate for student and faculty interests.

Looking at the big picture: A breakdown of university funding in Ontario through the decades
In a two-page spread, Academic Matters explore the history of university funding in Ontario, and how its composition has changed over time.

Humour Matters: It’s time to make meaningless words great again
Steve Penfold provides a humourous perspective on funding rhetoric and how it might be turned to good use.

Divisions in the university commons yield dividends: A partial review of Peter MacKinnon’s University Commons Divided
In a web exclusive, Root Gorelick provides some thoughts on the new book University Commons, which explores governance debates on university campuses across Canada.

All of the above articles are free to read online, and previous issues of Academic Matters are always available at in addition to web exclusives, blog posts, and more.

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