Ontario Universities Support Work Done on Issues around New Funding Model

Universities across the province look forward to collaboration on future options

TORONTO, Dec. 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario universities appreciate the broad consultation and balanced report released today on issues associated with university funding and urge the government to collaborate extensively with universities during the next phase of planning.

Patrick Deane, Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and President of McMaster University says, "The government-appointed team has worked hard to reflect the varying perspectives heard in the extensive consultation to date, and suggest many directions that Ontario universities support."

"We look forward to working in partnership with the Ministry during the next phase of the university funding review, including developing options, assessing impacts and preparing a feasible implementation plan." 

The consultation report indicates that a modernized funding model needs to be guided by continuous improvement in student outcomes, be validated by data and allow for predictable funding to support long term planning.

"One clear finding from the report is the shared focus on student success," says Bonnie M. Patterson, President and CEO of COU. "Ontario universities have long been committed to enhancing student outcomes – We know that the knowledge and skills of our graduates are key economic drivers of the province".

The report says that "a reformed funding formula should support students and foster universities' economic and social contributions."  

"It is also important to recognize the integral part that research plays in supporting students and its role in Ontario's economic, social and cultural advancement," says Patterson.

"Research contributes to the development of highly skilled personnel, ensures relevant knowledge for our academic programs, and advances the economy through the development of improved products and services. We urge the government to continue to support the research mission of universities."

Patterson also noted the emphasis on learning outcomes in the report and indicated that they are a fundamental part of the quality assurance processes for Ontario university programs and that considerable work is being done to measure those outcomes.

Universities also welcome the report's suggestion to implement a new funding model over two cycles (six years) of strategic mandate agreements negotiated by each university with government – as it will take time to develop appropriate metrics and develop feasible new funding approaches. This will avoid unintended consequences and perverse outcomes.

COU is the voice of Ontario's universities, promoting the value of education, research and innovation that leads to social, cultural and economic success.

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SOURCE Council of Ontario Universities

For further information: Dayana Fraser, Senior Communications Officer, 416-979-2165 x238, 647-982-4311 (cell), Email Dayana Fraser

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http://cou.on.ca/

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