Funding announcement disappoints Ontario university presidents


The Council of Ontario Universities issued the following press release on March 14:

The Council of Ontario Universities is disappointed with the announcement on operating grants made today by the minister of training, colleges and universities.

The funding announced does not respond to the enrolment growth in our institutions in recent years, nor the need to prepare for the significant increase in demand for access that will accompany the double cohort and the echo of the baby boom. The five-year announcement on tuition reduces the flexibility that our institutions have to react to changing demands and ensure students receive the quality education they deserve.

Taken together, the grant and tuition announcements will reinforce the problems of large class size and high student teacher ratios in Ontario, and will make us less competitive by such measures in comparison to universities in other Canadian provinces and the U.S.

In recent years, Ontario's universities have sought to work with the province on the twin goals of accessibility and quality in university education so important to Ontarians. While disappointed with today's announcement, Ontario's universities remain determined to respond to the needs of Ontario families and particularly those with children in the double cohort years.

COU has arranged an urgent meeting with minister Cunningham to see how we can move forward together to develop a framework that will respond to the escalating needs created by the increase in demand, and will enable us to meet our shared responsibility in the years to come.