Students dismayed at government's deepening disregard for accurate data

OTTAWA, May 9, 2012 /CNW/ - Students are condemning the recent announcement that Statistics Canada will no longer undertake two important education-related research projects. The publication Education Matters and the University and College Academic Staff Survey (UCASS) are another part of the 2012 federal budget cuts which aim to reduce Statistics Canada's budget by nearly $34 million by 2014.

"Education-related statistics are integral to understanding the labour market and economic health of the country and this is clearly off the government's radar," said Roxanne Dubois, National Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students. "The cuts are another blow to Canada's degrading capacity to collect and analyse the effectiveness of Canadian education institutions.."

The latest program losses end two long-standing features of Statistics Canada's data collection instruments, particularly the UCASS survey that has been conducted for over 40 years providing important information on Canada's academic staff. A 2006 report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) noted that Canada failed to collect and provide data on 57 of the 96 post-secondary education comparative indicators. In 2010, the federal government decided to make matters worse by eliminating other data collection tools such as the Youth in transition Survey and the National Longitudinal Survey on Children and Youth, both essential at evaluating the education system's socio-economic impact and labour market outcomes. The mandatory long form census also affected a significant data tool for extensive research and analysis on Canadians.

"The Conservative government cannot substitute good education policy making with guesswork," added Dubois. "Now that our economy relies increasingly on a well-trained workforce, measuring the economic impact of post-secondary education should be obvious."

The Canadian Federation of Students is Canada's largest student organisation, uniting more that one-half million students in all ten provinces. The Federation and its predecessor organisations have represented students in Canada since 1927.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Roxanne Dubois, National Chairperson, 613-232-7394, chair@cfs-fcee.ca

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