Government Submissions

OUSA advocates on behalf of its 140,000 members at its eight member schools across the province. To do this effectively, each year a variety of submissions to the government are created that summarize the positions of students.

Formulating Change: Recommendations for Ontario’s University Funding Formula Reform

In early 2015 the government of Ontario announced that it would be conducting a review of the processes by which it funds universities. In order to best capture the needs of those that consume, deliver and fund higher education, the government has commissioned extensive consultation with parents, students, universities, employers, agencies, and sector experts. This submission will serve as a summary of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s contributions to those discussions, as well as a statement of our principles in the area of funding priorities that could benefit students.

Those Who Can, Teach: Evolving Teaching and Learning Strategies in Ontario’s Universities

As universities respond to changing demands and attempt to integrate innovative pedagogies, students are uncertain about what their education will look like and where it will take them. While there are challenges, OUSA suggests that there are also opportunities to improve quality and productivity in Ontario’s university system. It is our hope that the recommendations within this submission can help attain this goal, and preserve the mission of universities to combine teaching and research for the benefit of students.

Educated Investments: Building a Healthy Future for Ontario

In the July 2014 Throne Speech, the Government of Ontario reiterated its commitment to “grow the economy and support all people of the province by investing in education and the skills training necessary for new growth.” Education remains a key strategy for fostering innovation and stable economic growth in the province. University graduates stand to earn 65% more income over their lifetimes than those without a post-secondary credential. On average, university graduates use fewer public services, pay higher taxes, and commit less crime. Finally, those that have completed post-secondary education are more likely to start their own businesses.

An Educated Election: Ontario’s Student Platform

As Ontario enters into a provincial election, students believe that it is paramount that Ontario’s political leaders ensure that post-secondary education is central to their respective party’s platforms. With all parties recognizing Ontario’s need to address the economic prosperity of the province and a difficult labour market, students have proposed a comprehensive election platform aimed at addressing many of these challenges.

Education Works: Envisioning a Fairer Society for Ontario’s Youth

OUSA’s 2014 Budget Submission is focused on how the government can leverage post-secondary education to help achieve its vision of creating a fairer society. Despite the current discourse questioning the value of post-secondary education, the evidence demonstrates that attaining a post-secondary credential can significantly change a recipient’s social, economic, and health outcomes for the better.

Youth Employment: Re-imagining the Link Between Learning and Labour

With the government having taken an important first step in confronting youth unemployment, OUSA believes that the time is ripe for a discussion on what a holistic youth employment strategy might look like. Many challenges facing youth in the labour market have been growing for decades now and will not be solved overnight. This makes it more important than ever for the long-term thinking on youth employment to begin now. If students, governments and educators can decide what Ontario’s labour force should look like ten years from now, we can begin building that future.

Unlocking Student Potential: The Key to Ontario’s Success

This year, students recommend that the budget represents a commitment to increasing affordability, supporting student health and employment, and expanding student mobility. To achieve these ends, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, representing over 155,000 professional and undergraduate university students, submits the following recommendations for the 2013 Provincial Budget to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of Ontario’s post-secondary education system.

Ontario’s Next Tuition Framework (Part 2)

While the cost of tuition and the rate at which it increases are obviously important subjects to students, they often cloud other important tuition-related issues. For instance, there are currently no regulations governing how and when universities may charge students tuition, meaning that each institution has the freedom to set individual payment processes.

Ontario’s Next Tuition Framework (Part 1)

It will not come as a surprise to most readers of this document that students are asking for a shift in Ontario’s tuition policy. Students’ concerns with tuition are so omnipresent in public debate that they have almost become synonymous with the very notion of a student movement. This harmful perception can make it seem like the student position on tuition is simple and has not evolved over time. In turn, the student movement is sometimes viewed as overly idealistic and opposed in principle to any student-borne costs.

Innovation and Productivity Roundtables: A Response

In this section, we address concerns raised in the consultations about dichotomies between standardization and innovation, and argue that there are ways that we can ensure consistency in learning outcomes across the system without infringing on institutional autonomy or academic freedom. We also recommend once more that the CLA be introduced in Ontario using samples of students from each institution, not as a standardized test. Finally, we recognize the value of the government setting priorities for the transformation of Ontario’s post-secondary system, and holding it accountable for achieving these priorities.