CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at 1356.cupe.ca This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

OCUFA report -says Ont. must invest $1.35 bil a year in pse

Here is the link to the report

http://www.ocufa.on.ca/research/Undergrad%20educ%20quality%20May%2014%202007.pdf

University education deteriorating: Report
TheStar.com - News - University education deteriorating: Report

May 13, 2007
Allison Jones
Canadian press

Ontario must invest at least $1.35 billion each year for the next three
years if it has any hope of reversing the trend of a deteriorating quality
of post-secondary education in the province, a new report suggests.

While the research paper by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty
Associations applauds steps taken by the government to improve education, it
concludes a lot more must be done.

The report estimates $600 million is required each year by 2009-10 for
graduate education, including such costs as hiring and other operating
expenses. A further $300 million at least is needed to accommodate
undergraduate enrolment growth, the report says.

The current annual $27-million allocation for maintenance is ``woefully
inadequate," the report says. It estimates $74 million per year would be
needed just to cover minimal repairs and $450 million a year to get
facilities up to an "optimal" state.

The report also cites a lack of funding for new facilities and equipment,
not enough tenured faculty hirings and a growing student-to-faculty ratio as
troubling.

One of the biggest problems is that per-student funding is declining, said
OCUFA president Michael Doucet. According to the report, once inflation is
factored in, funding per student was $2,600 less in 2004-05 than it was in
1990-91.

That, combined with a student-to-faculty ratio of about 27:1 when it should
be closer to 15:1, means the students are not getting enough quality
interaction with professors and faculty, said Doucet.

"What it means, I think, is the likelihood of an inferior education,
ultimately," Doucet said in an interview. "It's going to translate into
increased class sizes, probably less choice in terms of course offering and
the likelihood that more of their faculty will be part-time or sessional
instructors."

The report found that to improve student-to-faculty ratios, Ontario needs to
hire 11,000 more professors by 2010.

Although there is still a long way to go, Ontario is showing a commitment to
higher education, Doucet said.

"Hats off to the government for the `Reaching Higher' program - I hate to
think where we'd be without this injection of funds into the system," he
said.

"Reaching Higher" was a plan introduced by the province in 2005 as a $6.2
billion funding boost for the post-secondary system over five years.

A lot of the problems surrounding post-secondary education in Ontario still
stem back to the days of funding cuts under the Mike Harris government, said
Doucet.

"Ontario, until quite recently, was dead last in Canada in all the critical
funding measures," said Doucet.

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