Professors say McGuinty government can now better afford to invest in
TORONTO, March 20 /CNW/ - The increase in transfer payments to the
provinces announced in yesterday's federal Budget means the Ontario government
can take a major step forward to realizing its vision of a post-secondary
education system that can compete with the best in the world.
Ottawa has boosted transfers for post-secondary education significantly,
which means that over the next few years hundreds of millions of dollars will
flow to the Ontario government. This provides the Ontario government with the
opportunity to invest substantially in Ontario universities and enabling it to
attain the goals described in its 2005 Reaching Higher Plan.
The Ontario government's $6.2 billion investment announced in its 2005
provincial Budget was a significant commitment to the province's higher
education system. But the previous decade's spending cuts have left such a
large funding gap, that more is needed.
Ontario now spends less per student than any other Canadian jurisdiction
and, as a result, also has the worst student-faculty ratio. Student-faculty
ratios are a key indicator for educational quality.
To restore the quality of Ontario university education to 1995-96 levels,
OCUFA has advised the Ontario government that it needs to increase its current
allocation of $220 million in operating expenses for graduate education to
$608 million; boost capital spending on new facilities and equipment to
$1.2 billion, up from the current $550 million; and increase capital funding
for facilities renewal to $451 million, up from the present, woefully
inadequate, $27 million.
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For further information: Henry Mandelbaum, Executive Director, (416)
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