Ombudsman oversight will improve university accountability

TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Students support the introduction of legislation that will extend the Ontario Ombudsman purview over public universities in the province.

"By giving the Ontario Ombudsman the ability to investigate complaints, universities will be held to the same standards as other public institutions," said Alastair Woods, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "This is a simple and fair policy change that ensures accountability within our public institutions."

In 2012-13, the Ontario Ombudsman received 55 complaints about universities, but was unable to investigate them because universities do not fall within the office's scope. Some of the areas of complaints include concerns about the quality of student services, poor or inappropriate complaint measures, problematic academic requirements and student discipline.

College students can already go to the Ontario Ombudsman if they believe their institution has treated them unfairly, and all students can seek the assistance of the Ombudsman if they have complaints about the Ontario Student Assistance Programs.

"Students deserve to be treated fairly at Ontario universities," said Woods. "We hope that with this change student concerns with universities can be given the attention they deserve."

The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario

For further information:

Alastair Woods, Chairperson: 647-378-8942 (cell) or chair@cfsontario.ca