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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.

Breaking Barriers: A Strategy for Equal Access to Higher Education

Students from a number of groups remain underrepresented in Ontario’s universities and colleges, including low-income students, Aboriginal students, first generation students whose parents did not attend a post-secondary institution, rural and northern students, and students with dependants. Improving access to higher education for these and other underrepresented groups is widely acknowledged as essential to building a more equitable society and to competing in the increasingly knowledgebased economy. Indeed, Premier McGuinty has stated his desire to see 70 per cent of Ontarians complete post-secondary education, and achieving this target will require a concerted effort to reduce participation gaps.

Toward a Progressive Post-Secondary System

After years of tuition fee increases and no recognizable improvement in the quality of the learning environment, post-secondary students in Ontario are deeply concerned with the affordability and quality of their education. After a preliminary meeting to discuss possible elements of the NDP platform, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance wishes to present the following ideas in greater detail. Students understand that political and economic circumstances will play a large role in platform development, and we have attempted to focus on ideas that are both good policy and good politics, but with a low price tag. As the 2011 Ontario Election approaches, bold and innovative ideas will be necessary to improve the system and to capture the imagination of the students and people of Ontario.

The Ontario Online Institute: Students’ Vision for Opening Ontario’s Classrooms

Ontario students are supportive of the provincial government’s recent decision to create an Ontario Online Institute. This endeavour could significantly advance access, especially for traditionally underrepresented groups facing financial, physical, social, cultural, and geographic barriers which prevent them from attending a traditional post-secondary institution. Moreover, such an Institute could provide increased flexibility for the thousands of current students looking to blend online learning with an in-class education.

Educated Transformation: The Differentiation, Modernization & Sustainability of Post-Secondary Education in Ontario

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance has developed the following response to the recommendations contained in the book Academic Transformation. Broadly speaking, students agree that the current design of our university system is unsustainable, and that greater policy leadership from the Government is needed to transform our system to one that better balances the demands for a high-quality and accessible learning environment for students with an increased capacity to undertake knowledge production and innovation. However, this transformation will have a tremendous impact on students, and great care must be taken to ensure that the impact is not a negative one. 

Doing More with Less: Investing in the Quality of Higher Education

In announcing the $6.2 billion Reaching Higher plan, the McGuinty government declared that it would improve the overall quality of the post-secondary education system in the province of Ontario. Five years later, promised improvements in access have materialized, but unexpected enrollment increases have effectively swallowed up any additional funding for quality improvements. 

Ontario: A Province of Knowledge

The following report will explore, in detail, what changes, alterations and overhauls need to be made in the next three to five years in order to build upon the great strides made in the Reaching Higher plan. The recommendations made by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance are geared towards a continued transformation of the post-secondary education system in the province. The areas of focus will be student financial assistance, student success, and tuition.

Post-Secondary Education: Ontario’s Economic Silver Bullet

In this submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) recommends targeted investments in several priority areas for investment in Ontario’s post-secondary education system. Many important improvements to higher education in our province can be accomplished by using resources more efficiently, getting support to the students who need it the most, or through regulatory changes to improve access and persistence.

Highlighting Education: A Blueprint for Improving Ontario’s Post-Secondary Education

Our belief is that this document can be an important starting point in the discussion around the extension and expansion of the ‘Reaching Higher’ plan for post-secondary education. The ‘Reaching Higher’ plan was an excellent step in the right direction, but there is much to be done to make Ontario’s post-secondary system the envy of other jurisdictions, and we hope that the many recommendations contained in this document will help along that path.