Ontario Universities, the Double Cohort, and the Maclean’s Rankings: The Legacy of the Harris/Eves Years, 1995-2003

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This paper reviews the Harris/Eves governments’ funding cuts to the province’s universities, whose negative impact is reflected in the Maclean’s rankings of Canadian universities. Universities were among the hardest hit of Ontario’s transfer-payment agencies during the Conservative budget cuts, and funding increases in the later years of the Conservative government only partially restored lost funding. The consequences of these cuts on universities were striking in areas such as tuition, operating funding, enrolment, and student-faculty ratios. Universities were also affected substantially by the government’s decision to eliminate Grade 13 from secondary schools, creating the “double cohort.”

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