TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) said that today's Ontario budget announcement addressed some of the short term problems faced by universities but left many larger issues unanswered.
"Higher education continues to be a priority for Premier Dalton McGuinty and his government. We are pleased that the Premier resisted pressure to cut higher education funding," said Professor Mark Langer, President of OCUFA. "The additional funding, both for the current fiscal year and the growth in student enrolment for 2010-11, is a positive move."
In the 2010 Budget, the Government of Ontario announced the creation of 20,000 new college and university spaces. "However, there is no mention of hiring additional professors required to teach these new students. University education depends on the connection between faculty and students. That connection simply does not exist in a lecture hall with over 500 seats," Prof. Langer said.
Other budget initiatives, such as increasing credit transfer, are worthwhile objectives. However, a successful credit transfer system is expensive. The government's lack of a commitment to proper funding credit transfer is cause for concern.
The budget also calls for aggressive recruitment of international students. Currently, these students pay up to four times as much in tuition fees as their domestic counterparts. OCUFA is concerned that international students may be used to fund the expansion of Ontario universities without provision of adequate support systems to ensure their successful transition to a different academic environment.
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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