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.

Educated Reform

Educated Reform adopts the attitude that the methods used to achieve outcomes are in constant need of further perfection. The quality of institutions can always be improved. This report focuses on four key issues in higher education in need of address.

Affording our Future: Leveraging Ontario’s Investment in Post-Secondary Education

Not only does OUSA recommend that the recent investments the Ontario government has made in postsecondary education remain in the budget, but we also strongly believe that they should be improved upon in order to ensure an effective use of funding and truly meet the needs of students. This submission is structured around three major priorities relating to recent investments in higher education.

Student Health: Bringing Healthy Change to Ontario’s Universities

OUSA believes that the physical and mental health of post-secondary students is critical to their academic success and personal well-being. Student Health: Bringing Healthy Change to Ontario’s Universities focuses on the provision of physical healthcare and mental health services at Ontario universities. Students believe that these services fill an important role, but could be improved. Student ancillary fees, physician compensation, the integration of care, front-line mental health care, anti-stigma initiatives, and services for marginalized students are some of the topics addressed in this submission.

Tomorrow’s Tuition: A New Framework for Affordable Higher Education

Since 2006, a government framework allowing an average of five per cent increases annually has regulated tuition fees in Ontario. This framework sets no requirements on how or when universities may charge tuition. This current system has caused concern among students for quite some time due to implications for the affordability, accessibility and fairness of higher education.

Submission to the Commission for the Review of Social Assistance in Ontario

A major area of research and advocacy for OUSA is the accessibility of higher education in Ontario. OUSA believes that all individuals should have the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education, regardless of socio-economic circumstances. In light of our work on accessibility, we were excited to hear that the Government of Ontario has commissioned a review of social assistance, with the specific goal of making recommendations that “reduce barriers and support people’s transition into, and attachment, within the labour market.” Given that an estimated seven out of ten future jobs will require a post-secondary credential, being able to access college and university education while on social assistance can be a critical step in obtaining secure employment for individuals on social assistance.

Our Vote, Our Future: The Student Platform

Ontario's ability to endure what continues to plague much of the global economy will require government leadership on many fronts, but there is one undeniable way to ensure long-term prosperity: Invest in post-secondary education.

Going Global: Supporting Ontario’s International Students

The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) recognizes the importance of attracting more international students to study in Ontario, as articulated by the Ontario government in its Open Ontario Plan. In a competitive global environment, international students enable the province to train and retain highly skilled individuals, provide access to a greater pool of talent, diversity and ideas, and contribute to the economy. This paper provides an overview of six areas of significant importance to undergraduate domestic and international students alike, all of which are in need of greater attention by institutions and the provincial government.

Reaching Even Higher

After a preliminary meeting to discuss possible elements of the Liberal platform, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) 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 general election approaches, bold and innovative ideas will be necessary to both improve the system and to capture the imagination of the students and people of Ontario.

An Educated Investment: Advancing Post-Secondary Education

The one way to ensure Ontario’s long-term prosperity is to continue to invest in higher education. The Premier has set an ambitious goal to raise Ontarians’ post-secondary attainment level to 70 per cent, and accomplishing this will require that the government continue to build on its significant past investments through Budget 2011. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, representing over 140,000 professional and undergraduate university students, recommends the following priorities for Budget 2011 to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of Ontario’s post-secondary education system.

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.