TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - A new report released today by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) finds that declining quality and rising tuition fees means that university students are paying more money for less education. When measured against several key indicators of learning quality, students in the 1960s received a better education than students today - for a bargain price.
"Engagement with full-time faculty, high-quality labs, and excellent classrooms are cornerstones of a meaningful university experience," said Prof. Mark Langer, President of OCUFA. "This new research shows that students are learning in ever-larger classes and aging infrastructure. When you consider the tuition fees these students must pay, it's clear they are not getting the same value their parents did."
The study, The Decline of Quality at Ontario Universities: Shortchanging a Generation, contrasts the student experience in the 1960s, 1990s, and the present day. Students in the 1960s learned in small classes and benefitted from brand-new facilities. Now, Ontario has the highest student-to-faculty ratio in Canada, and much of the province's campus infrastructure is now decades old. Without the ability to engage with their professors and access state-of-the-art labs, libraries and classrooms, students are just not getting the same educational depth as their parents. Ontario also has tuition fees higher than anywhere else in the country, both in terms of absolute dollars and as a proportion of university operating revenue.
"The decline in quality at Ontario universities is a problem forty years in the making. It is not the fault of any one government, but the result of years of under-funding and misguided policies," said Langer. "Our university system is now at a crossroads. Down one path is further decline. Down the other is well-funded, high-quality higher education that meets the needs of our province. OCUFA believes that renewed government investment in higher education is the only way to ensure the value of an Ontario university degree for today's students and generations of students to come."
The full report can be read here: http://bit.ly/aBXWgU
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents over 15,000 faculty and academic librarians 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
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