TORONTO – Ontario’s faculty and academic librarians are troubled the government has not made much-needed investments in the province’s universities. This budget threatens the quality of education and will cause Ontario to fall even further behind other provinces in per-student funding.
“As professors, we are committed to providing our students with a vibrant and enriching education,” said Judy Bates, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “The government’s continued underfunding of our universities will stretch existing resources even thinner, compromising the integrity of learning environments and our ability to prepare students for success upon graduation.”
For seven consecutive years, Ontario has ranked last among all provinces in per-student funding, and this budget will see the province fall even further behind. Faculty and students already feel the pressure of underfunding. Ontario has the highest student-faculty ratios in Canada and the number of precariously employed contract faculty has doubled in the last fifteen years.
The government continues to follow through on its plan to increase access to postsecondary education for students from low-income families and OCUFA supports these measures. However, the lack of investment in universities undermines this progress by short-changing the high-quality learning experience students and parents expect. The budget includes no new public operating funding for universities. This represents a troubling erosion of public financial support for Ontario’s universities.
“Additional public investment in our universities could transform them,” said Bates. “It would support hiring more full-time faculty and smaller classes that offer innovative and fulfilling learning experiences for our students.”
Ontario’s universities are vital institutions that inspire and expand student minds, and support scholars who develop research that fuels social and economic progress. Robust public funding is the foundation upon which the province’s universities thrive for the benefit of all Ontarians.
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.