Yesterday, the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities (MTCU) released a document proposing that Ontario’s post-secondary education sector begin a series of conversations on how to promote efficiency and innovation at universities and colleges in Ontario. The document, entitled Strengthening Ontario’s Centres of Creativity, Innovation and Knowledge proposes a series of roundtable discussions on innovation, quality and productivity. In addition, the MTCU discussion paper highlights strategies that could be utilized to achieve these goals, such as a wider range of credential options and technology-enabled learning.
OUSA is pleased with the initiative taken by the Ministry to stimulate the conversation around productivity in higher education and students are excited to actively participate. From a student perspective, issues relating to teaching quality, credit transfer and online education are particularly crucial. The document invites discussion on all of these areas. Additionally, the document suggests that a conversation should be had on how innovation and productivity could impact the future of tuition in Ontario. OUSA looks forward to putting forward our values and provoking discussion on both the public and private benefits of post-secondary education.
Undoubtedly, ideas that arise during the consultation process will come with a great deal of complexity. With so many stakeholders directly impacted by such a significant shift in the sector, OUSA recognizes the responsibility to discuss the ideas holistically. Transformation can increase student flexibility, improve quality of education and render post-secondary education much more customizable to student needs. However, it can also carry hidden costs and drawbacks, which students will ultimately have to bear.
OUSA is looking forward to exploring this complexity with the government to negotiate fair and reasonable options for Ontario students and intends to release an official response to the Ministry’s paper in the coming weeks. A more productive, innovative and efficient university sector will help higher education be a more viable investment for both students and government.
President, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance