TORONTO, April 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Students are deeply concerned to hear allegations of research interference brought against the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). Queen's University students Sean Field and Jennifer Massey allege that their research was altered and published without their consent by the multi-million dollar arms-length agency of the Ontario government.
"It seems that Ontario has yet another problem with a Liberal-established, arms-length agency and we call on government to investigate these allegations," said Désirée Lamoureux, Chairperson of the Ontario Graduate Caucus of the Canadian Federation of Students. "Ontario's graduate students call on Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray to establish a panel of academics to undertake a review of HEQCO's research practices and mandate that all HEQCO research be subject high standards of academic rigour, including peer review."
Peer review is a standard method of critiquing and evaluating research before publishing to lend credibility and accountability. The researchers allege that their research was altered to provide a favourable outcome for the interests of HECQO.
"HEQCO is supposed to promote higher education quality and therefore has a responsibility to explain why research was altered in a seemingly political, rather than academic manner," said Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "In a time where programs are being cut to balance the Ontario budget, the government cannot justify paying millions of dollars for an arms-length agency to perform biased and questionable research," said Hudson.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 50,000 graduate students in Ontario, including those at Queen's University.
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