New report reveals importance of public funding for universities

OCUFA study shows government dollars essential for mitigating the impact of the recession on higher education

TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - A new research report released today by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) demonstrates the continued importance of public funding for universities. Without strong government investment, Ontario's universities would have suffered more during the recent economic recession.

"Ontario's university system was built on a solid foundation of public support," said Professor Mark Langer, President of OCUFA. "Today's report shows that continued government investment is needed to ensure our institutions are able to navigate a challenging economic climate."

The study, The Public Wisdom of Public Funding: Ontario Universities and the Recession, finds that, unlike schools in the United States, public investment means that endowment funds comprise only a small part of university budgets in Ontario. This has helped insulate our institutions from the serious impacts of the economic crisis experienced at American universities like Harvard and Princeton.

According to the report, part of OCUFA's ongoing Trends in Higher Education series, decisions made about funding postsecondary institutions are primarily political. They are influenced, but not directly affected, by economic conditions. The Public Wisdom of Public Funding underscores the point of OCUFA's current Quality Matters campaign - increased government investment in higher education is urgently needed to preserve and expand the quality of education experienced by students.

"Ontario's economic success and social vitality depends on a well-funded university system," said Prof. Langer. "Despite the budget deficit, the Government of Ontario must renew their commitment to higher education to equip our students to compete in the knowledge economy and ensure our province remains a research and innovation leader."

To read the full report, please visit http://bit.ly/apfeIe.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents over 15,000 faculty in 26 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at http://www.ocufa.on.ca.

SOURCE Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

For further information: For further information: Graeme Stewart, (416) 979-2117 x232, gstewart@ocufa.on.ca

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Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

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