Volume 93, Issue 4

Wednesday, May 28, 1999


Senate revisions disable confusion

Western removes toxic substance

Post-secondary funding, taxes fuel debate

London population grows stagnant

OSAP repayment plan gets facelift

Birthday suits now welcome in mega city

Public suports more funding



In the city

Public suports more funding

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Results of a recent poll have indicated what many university students have been hoping to hear – Ontario residents are in favour of seeing an increase in public funding to universities.

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and the Friends of Ontario Universities came together and hired COMPAS, a polling company, to conduct a study of how people felt about student aid, said Henry Mandebaum, executive director of OCUFA.

The poll indicated 87 per cent of respondents are hoping to see the next provincial government increase public funding to universities.

"We receive less funding than any other province in Canada," Mandebaum said of Ontario universities. He added Ontario ranks 10th out of Canada's 10 provinces for financial support.

Andrew Boggs, executive director for OUSA, said the results of the poll were overwhelming. "We got what we were expecting," he said. "However, the magnitude of it was what we found surprising."

Boggs added the COMPAS poll took a political perspective in light of the upcoming provincial elections. Participants of the poll were asked what party they would vote for on June 3. "The Liberals were the highest. They got over 90 per cent," he said.

Boggs also said 87 per cent of New Democratic Party voters believed students needed more funding, while only 79 per cent of Tory supporters called for increased funding.

Mark Kissel, VP-education for the University Students' Council, said funding is a continuous problem and polls such as this one are important as they stress the problem repeatedly to the Ontario government.

Karen Bodirsky, spokesperson for the Ministry of Education and Training, said the figures which place Ontario below the national average on per capita student funding did not account for other expenditures such as capital funding and sponsored research grants.

"I'm calling into question the assertion Ontario is last," she said. "To put it in perspective, for every dollar in tuition revenue, an extra dollar is being spent to ensure access," she added and cited the Canada-Ontario Millennium Scholarship Foundation as providing $9 billion in funding over the next 10 years.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999