Ontario Liberals’ plan misses the opportunity to adequately address postsecondary education sector’s needs

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The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is disappointed that the Ontario Liberal Party platform did not do more to respond to the pressing needs of the province’s postsecondary education sector.

The Liberals provided a more comprehensive plan for higher education than the Ontario PC or New Democratic parties. Unlike the other parties, the Liberals addressed infrastructure, research, enrolment growth and funding in their platform.

OCUFA also commends the Liberal Party for including the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan in their platform. This proposal represents an important step towards ensuring retirement security for all Ontarians.

Despite these improvements, the provisions included in the Liberal platform are still inadequate to address the real and pressing needs of the sector.

“The Liberals could have used the current election campaign as an opportunity to seriously consider the challenges facing the postsecondary education sector and committed themselves to making renewed investments in our universities. Instead they chose to continue the status quo,” said Kate Lawson, OCUFA president. “Ontario currently has the lowest per-student funding in Canada and the highest student-faculty ratio in Canada.”

OCUFA is calling for renewed public investment in higher education. Increased funding is needed to bring per-student funding in line with the national average and to hire additional full-time faculty members to help reduce class sizes, and increase opportunities for student-faculty interaction – important indicators of a high quality university education.

“This election is our chance to make Ontario a world leader in postsecondary education,” Lawson said. “Investing in colleges and universities provides opportunities for Ontario’s youth and supports the economic engine of Ontario.”

OCUFA is the voice of 17,000 university professors and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. On behalf of its members, it is committed to building a high quality and accessible higher education system in the province.

Visit OCUFA’s website here: www.ocufa.on.ca

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Caitlin Kealey