OUSA Welcomes Kathleen Wynne, the New Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party

TORONTO, Jan. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) congratulates Kathleen Wynne on her selection as the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party and Premier-designate of Ontario. We look forward to working closely with Premier-designate Wynne and her new cabinet to improve the accessibility, affordability, quality and accountability of Ontario's post-secondary education system, just as we worked with Premier McGuinty's government to achieve these same goals.

Students will work closely with Premier Wynne to achieve her platform commitment to improve the accessibility and affordability of Ontario's post secondary system. Specifically, students applaud her commitment to find sustainable and predictable funding that reflects the real needs of Ontario's higher education sector. Students recommend the first step toward this is to ensure that students' contribution to the costs of our post secondary system through tuition do not continue to grow at an unsustainable rate. In recognition of this, students have recommended the government freeze tuition for at least one year, and that beyond that, tuition increases should be no higher than inflation. Students have also asked that the government end the practice of flat-fee billing, as it charges students for education they do not receive. As one of the first decisions the new government will make, Ontario students look forward to a tuition framework announcement soon that marks a clear break from the past. To learn more about OUSA's recommendations for Ontario's next tuition framework, please check out our two-part government submission available here and here.

OUSA believes that the provincial government must ensure that growth in public funding to post secondary institutions keeps pace with or exceeds private funding, in recognition that a post-secondary education provides substantial benefits to the public. In the long term, Ontario will only be able to maintain the public nature of its post secondary sector if it maintains and expands its investment in it.

Improvements to the quality and productivity of our post secondary sector, with a specific focus on teaching, must be a priority of the provincial government moving forward. The government began this discussion with the sector this past summer and students look forward to continuing it with Premier Wynne and her cabinet. OUSA's contributions to the sector discussion regarding quality and productivity are available in our Educated Reform report, available here.

Students in Ontario also look forward to working with the new Premier on her commitment to improve student mobility and flexibility through a better credit transfer system. Students have long waited for a comprehensive credit transfer system in Ontario, and look forward to building on progress made by the McGuinty government in this area.

"OUSA wishes to thank outgoing Premier Dalton McGuinty for his nine years of service to the province," said Alysha Li, OUSA President. "Premier McGuinty made many contributions to post-secondary education in Ontario during his term and we wish him well in his future endeavours."

About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)

OUSA represents the interests of over 155,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at nine member associations across Ontario.

SOURCE: Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance

For further information:

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Sloan, Director of Communications.

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