Volume 93, Issue 45

Thursday, November 18, 1999


Fears over cutbacks surface

Police pull preacher

Vote resurrects residents' council

Meteorites threaten communications

Mayor plays it up in Miami

Ontario just ain't got what it takes

Bass ackwards

Caught on campus

Ontario just ain't got what it takes

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Ontario received a failing grade from a post-secondary education survey released yesterday and debate is already being raised over the province's education system.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Canadian Federation of Students teamed up to release the study which placed Ontario last out of the 10 provinces in terms of the quality of post-secondary education, said CCPA researcher and co-author Erika Shaker.

Denise Doherty-Delorme, CFS researcher and co-author of the study, said the universities were studied under four separate categories – accountability, equality, quality and equity. She said Ontario ranked last in both the accountability and quality categories.

Examining the percentages of accountability factors such as public and private funding of post-secondary education, Ontario ranked last and second last, respectively. "Canadians value education as much as health care and there are a lot of things people don't know," Doherty-Delorme said of the current state of education.

She explained accountability refers to the universities' accountability to the public, not to outside bodies such as private corporations and external governing boards.

The remaining three categories judge a person's opportunity to attend the institution of his choice as "equity," each person's financial opportunity to pursue an education as "access" and each person's right to a quality education as "quality," Doherty-Delorme explained.

Jerry Paquette, a professor of education at Western, said he was not surprised with the results of the study. "Ontario has been last or second last in every meaningful measure of fiscal effort for university education," he said. "It stands to reason, given the fact that we have been the lowest funded province."

Still, Greg Moran, Western's VP-academic said he believes Western offers a high quality education to undergraduates. However, he said he understands why Ontario fell short in the rankings.

"The resource situation for Ontario universities is approaching a crisis," he said, adding it takes a lot of underfunding to cause a noticeable decline in education.

Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities spokesperson Kerry Delaney said while she has only seen a brief summary of the study, she disagrees with it. "This year provincial support will reach the $4 billion mark, the highest it's ever been."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999