News Briefs

Today's top news stories for March 27, 2009.

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Report: quality of Ontario education in decline
A report released by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations has indicated a decline in the quality of university education in Ontario.

Approximately 2,000 faculty, librarians and teaching assistants from 22 Ontario universities responded to an online questionnaire between Feb. 16 and March 13.

According to the report, the decline in quality resulted from larger classes and fewer full-time faculty hires.

Among the key findings from the report, 62 per cent of respondents said they were facing larger class sizes in comparison to three years ago. As well, 40 per cent of the respondents believed current students are receiving less educational quality than the ones before.

Jim Wilson, provincial opposition critic for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, agreed with OCUFA’s claims.

“[Ontario now has] the lowest government-funded post-secondary education in all of Canada on a per capita basis [and] the second highest tuition fees,” Wilson said.

While Mike Carroll, president of the University of Western Ontario Faculty Association, felt Western faced similar problems as other schools, he did not believe class size was an issue.

“According to the OCUFA’s study, a major concern was that the class sizes in the third and fourth year is increasing. I’m not sure that’s happening here [at Western],” Carroll said.

However, both Wilson and Carroll mentioned the importance of hiring more professors in order to uphold the quality of university education.

“Because of the downturn in the economy, more and more people are turning back to school,” Wilson added.

“There’s no point in bringing more classroom space unless you hire more professors.”
" Shreya Tekriwal

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