TORONTO, November 25, 2013 – Please be advised of changes made to three existent standing policy papers of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). Students from across Ontario developed and approved changes to OUSA’s Student Success, Ancillary Fees, and A Comprehensive Access Strategy policy papers at the recent November 1-3, 2013 Fall General Assembly at Western University.
OUSA’s policy papers serve as the backbone of the organization’s advocacy efforts. These papers are reimagined every three years to ensure that they accurately reflect the values and concerns of OUSA’s members, as well as the state of our university communities and Ontario’s political climate. Examples of some new areas of concern included in the latest versions of these policy papers are listed below.
OUSA’s Student Success policy paper includes new recommendations regarding the need for universities to develop and employ learning outcome measures at the course, program and institutional levels to reflect the skills competencies students gain throughout the course of pursuing their degree. Robust learning outcome measures will not only provide students with a greater understanding of their own learning, but will also indicate to future employers the numerous soft skills and competencies undergraduates gain throughout their studies.
Students have taken a strong position in favour of eliminating system-wide fee exemptions from Ontario’s Ancillary Fee Protocol as they provide universities the ability to skirt student control and consultation when downloading additional costs onto undergraduates. This recommendation in the Ancillary Fees policy paper reaffirms OUSA’s longstanding position that student consent must be obtained before institutions are able to levy new compulsory ancillary fees.
Students also recognized that individuals from groups that experience low university attainment levels are overrepresented in applied, rather than academic, streams in Ontario’s secondary schools. Concerned that the streaming process exacerbates existing social and educational inequalities for these populations, students recommend in A Comprehensive Access Strategy that the Ministry of Education phase out secondary school streaming in favour of employing a non-streamed secondary education model that provides students the ability to tailor their education to their strengths and post-secondary/employment aspirations via a diverse array of elective credits.
To read OUSA’s updated policy papers in their entirety, please click the links below.
About the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA)
OUSA represents the interests of over 140,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at eight member associations across Ontario.
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Brandon Sloan, Director of Communications.
T: (416) 605-1345
E: [email protected]
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