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In this issue...

Ontario University and Colleges Coalition opposes Ford government’s “performance” funding for postsecondary institutions

OCUFA’s statement on the new memorandum of understanding regarding the Université de l'Ontario Français

OCUFA’s Status of Women and Equity Committee: The performance-based funding model is a threat to equity and diversity

Ontario University and Colleges Coalition opposes Ford government’s “performance” funding for postsecondary institutions

The Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC), which represents over 435,000 faculty, staff, and students from every public postsecondary institution in Ontario has issued a comprehensive statement condemning the Ford government’s “performance” funding model for the province’s postsecondary institutions.

The OUCC argues that this new market-based approach to funding postsecondary education will fundamentally compromise the integrity of Ontario’s higher education system and create greater inequity, hurt students, and threaten the quality of education in our province.

“Universities and colleges are unique spaces created to facilitate advanced education and research. They are publicly funded because they produce a vital public good: new knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world. 

Postsecondary education is an essential extension of Ontario’s exceptional public education system, which is founded on a holistic approach to developing the human mind; it provides a far greater benefit than simply training students for the workforce. The province’s longstanding commitment to advanced education and research has fostered generations of curious, critical, and creative citizens, while consistently producing innovative and ground-breaking research and solutions to society’s most pressing problems.

Unfortunately, the narrow-minded Ford government does not seem to understand the purpose of postsecondary institutions. They believe colleges and universities exist solely to produce workers and intellectual property for profit-driven corporations.

Without any consultation with sector stakeholders, this government is ignoring sound public policy and imposing its own reckless ideological framework on Ontario’s postsecondary education system. The results will be devastating.”

Read the OUCC’s full statement here.

OCUFA’s statement on the new memorandum of understanding regarding the Université de l'Ontario Français

OCUFA cautiously welcomes news that the provincial and federal governments have reached a memorandum of understanding in which they both recognize the importance of meeting the postsecondary needs of Ontario's growing Francophone population.

In the 2018 Ontario election, Doug Ford promised to move forward with the Université de l’Ontario français – a project set into motion by the previous government as a French-language university by and for Francophones. However, less than six months after the election, Ford promptly cancelled the project.

This was followed by a year of Doug Ford’s government aggressively undermining public postsecondary education in Ontario, including the introduction of a reckless new funding formula, cuts to university budgets and OSAP, and attacks on student unions and student media. Further, since taking office, Ford and his Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities have consistently refused to meet or consult with faculty and students.

This pattern of behaviour leads to serious concerns about Doug Ford's support for the province's public postsecondary education system and whether he can be trusted to resurrect the Université de l’Ontario français.

Ontario's university faculty, especially those teaching at institutions already serving the province's Francophone and Francophile students, have a unique and vital perspective on their educational needs. As plans for the Université de l’Ontario français once again start to gain momentum, it will be critical that faculty voices are incorporated into this government's vision of Francophone postsecondary education in Ontario.

OCUFA’s Status of Women and Equity Committee: The Ontario government’s performance-based funding model is a threat to equity and diversity at universities

OCUFA’s Status of Women and Equity Committee has also published a statement describing how performance funding will negatively impact equity on campus.

SWEC is troubled by the reductive, flawed, and inequitable set of metrics the government has proposed and the adverse effects they will have on universities.

“Research on other jurisdictions where performance-based funding models have been implemented has repeatedly demonstrated that these approaches have severe negative impacts on equity and accessibility of educational institutions…

For example, a recent study in the United States has shown that minority-serving institutions, when compared to larger research schools, are more negatively impacted by performance-based funding models. This often results in these minority serving institutions shifting their focus away from serving minority students in order to secure more funding.”

The Committee notes that several of the metrics proposed, including those focused on graduation rates, graduate employment, and graduate earnings, will incentivize practices that exacerbate the discrimination already faced by equity-seeking groups pursuing a postsecondary education.

SWEC states the new funding model will harm the quality and accessibility of university and college education in Ontario and, by design, disadvantage students who are already marginalized and institutions that are already under-resourced.

Read the Status of Women and Equity Committee’s full statement here.

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