OCUFA has set out its priorities for the 2017 Ontario Budget in a written submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. Preserving the quality of university education in Ontario provides a vision for postsecondary education founded on a strong, comprehensive system of public funding that is accessible, high quality, and provides good jobs.
Ontario’s universities currently receive the lowest level of public per-student funding in Canada, are not hiring full-time faculty at the rate necessary to keep pace with student enrolment, and have the highest student-faculty ratios in the country.
OCUFA’s recommendations to the Standing Committee include:
- Increasing per-student funding for Ontario’s universities to match the average for the rest of Canada;
- Making a commitment to supporting faculty renewal, including full-time faculty hiring that brings Ontario’s student-faculty ratio in line with the rest of Canada and replacing retiring faculty with tenure-stream positions;
- Ensuring fairness for contract faculty by strengthening employment and labour laws;
- Rejecting the use of punitive performance-based funding in the renewed university funding model; and
- Establishing a new higher education data agency to collect, analyze, and disseminate key information on Ontario’s universities.