Postsecondary education needs robust public funding

Healthy levels of government funding for post-secondary institutions are crucial to deliver high-quality education to students. At a time when Ontario universities already receive the lowest per-student funding in Canada, UWOFA urges the provincial government not to cut core operating grants for post-secondary schools in the upcoming provincial budget.

UWOFA sent the following letter to Merillee Fullerton, minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, on behalf of its members:

Dear Hon. Merilee Fullerton,

At a time when Ontario's universities already receive the lowest per-student funding in Canada, the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) urges your government not to cut operating grants to universities in the upcoming provincial budget.

A decrease in funding to post-secondary institutions will have a negative impact on the quality of education needed to make Ontario competitive. Budget cuts will most certainly affect university faculty members with precarious employment, many of whom work on short-term contracts that may not be renewed when universities face budget cuts.

Contract faculty are among Ontario's best university teachers. They are a vital part of the high-quality education that our students deserve. Any further reduction in operating grants will leave our contract faculty colleagues, our universities, our communities, and indeed our province, further behind. Universities are already being forced to absorb revenue losses as a result of the 10% tuition reduction in the 2019-2020 school year. That makes it even more critical that core operating grants be maintained for all Ontario post-secondary institutions. At Western, departments and faculties are being asked to model cuts in anticipation of budget strife due to provincial policy changes which will no doubt affect the quality of education Ontario students deserve.

We ask you not to cut operating grants and instead provide robust public funding for Ontario universities, which will only strengthen the quality of post-secondary education in our province.

Can you commit to our request? We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Dan Belliveau, UWOFA president
John Ciriello, UWOFA vice-president

Read the original letter here.