Presidential Update January 2022
January 17, 2022
OUSA releases policy paper titled “Accountability and System Vision”
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the third policy paper approved by OUSA’s Fall 2021 General Assembly, Accountability and System Vision. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of bringing attention to student concerns and recommendations that address accountability mechanisms and tools for systemic direction within the post-secondary sector.
OUSA Releases Affordability: 2020 Results from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (OUSS, previously Ontario Post-Secondary Students Survey)
January 13, 2022
OUSA Publishes Results of the 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey with Student Data on Affordability of Post-Secondary Education
TORONTO, ON – The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is excited to announce the release of the first of three reports sharing the results of its biennial Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (OUSS), previously known as the Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey. The OUSS received over 5,500 undergraduate and professional student responses across OUSA’s eight member schools. The reports cover the accessibility, affordability, and quality post-secondary education in Ontario and are based on the results of the 2020 OUSS.
December 15, 2021
OUSA releases policy paper titled “Responding to COVID-19”
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the second policy paper approved by OUSA’s Fall 2021 General Assembly, Responding to COVID-19. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of bringing attention to student concerns and recommendations that address the educational, health, and financial needs of post-secondary students as they continuously adapt to the rapidly changing pandemic climate.
"The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are still severely affecting students and their post-secondary experience on a variety of fronts,” said Eunice Oladejo, OUSA President and VP External Affairs at the University Students’ Council at Western. “It is crucial that students receive substantial support to not only mitigate immediate pandemic-related effects, but also any long-term implications.”
December 13, 2021
OUSA releases policy paper titled “Student Mobility & Credit Transfer”
TORONTO - The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) is proud to release the second policy paper approved by OUSA’s Fall 2021 General Assembly, Student Mobility & Credit Transfer. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of providing recommendations for investments in supports, growing and strengthening transfer pathways, and better understanding the needs of transfer students in the province.
"Credit transfer and recognition are often overlooked as important tools to enhance accessibility, equity, and diversity in post-secondary education," said Nathan R. G. Barnett, OUSA Steering Committee Member and VP University Affairs at the Trent Durham Student Association. “Unfortunately, there are a number of barriers that are standing in the way.”
TORONTO – This week, nineteen student leaders from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) will meet virtually with MPPs and their staff to discuss student concerns. OUSA represents 150,000 students from eight universities across Ontario, and our student representatives will be advocating for OUSA’s priorities on Affordability, Gender-based and Sexual Violence Prevention, Racial Equity, Sector Sustainability, and Students with Disabilities.
TORONTO - On May 5th, 2021, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) sent a letter to the former Minister of Colleges and Universities, asking the province to stop the $400 million clawbacks from the provincial portion of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and to re-invest the $400 million back into OSAP. Having received no response, OUSA sent a second letter on September 10th to the Honourable Jill Dunlop, the current Minister of Colleges and Universities.
Government Moves Ahead with OUSA Recommendations on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response on Campuses
TORONTO - Today, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities announced it would be moving forward with regulatory amendments to Ontario Regulation 131/16 to make post-secondary sexual violence policies more trauma-informed, survivor-centric, and evidence-based.
OUSA Publishes 15th Issue of Educated Solutions: "Educated Solutions: Enhancing Equity in Education"
TORONTO - Today, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) released Issue 15 of its annual magazine, Educated Solutions. This year's edition focuses on how inequities in post-secondary education affect a variety of student populations and offers suggestions for how the sector can improve equity initiatives.
Joint Statement by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance and Ontario’s Universities on Fall Re-opening and Vaccinations
July 16, 2021 - “As Ontario’s universities and the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) prepare to welcome new and returning students this fall, we encourage all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
OUSA and our universities across the province are proud to recognize the exceptional contributions and dedication of Ontario’s students in accelerating provincial COVID-19 vaccination efforts thus far.
May 26, 2021
OUSA Calls on the Province to Stop Clawing Back OSAP
TORONTO - On May 5, 2021, The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) sent a letter to the Honourable Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, asking the province to stop the $400 million clawback from the provincial portion of the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) and to re-invest the $400 milion back into OSAP. As of Wednesday, May 26, OUSA has not received a response from Minister Romano or the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
“Students across the province rely on the OSAP to help fund their post-secondary education and increase affordability,” said Eunice Oladejo, OUSA President and incoming Vice-President External Affairs at the University Students’ Council at Western University. “Due to the global pandemic, students are facing income disruptions and high unemployment rates, further exacerbating issues of affordability.”
In the spirit of helping students during the pandemic, the federal government doubled its contributions to OSAP through the Canada Student Grant (CSG) in 2020 and has committed to maintaining this investment amount for the next two years. Despite the significant increase in funding for student financial aid, students in Ontario have not felt the effects of this contribution. This is because the province is using the increased federal funding to subsidize its own contributions to OSAP by clawing back the provincial portion of OSAP. In the recently announced fiscal plan and outlook (page 154), the provincial government reduced its OSAP expenditure from $1.29 billion in 2019-20 to $895 million in 2020-21, amounting to a $400 million reduction.
Rather than providing Ontario students with the financial support they require and have been asking for throughout the pandemic, the provincial government is using the federal government’s additional investments as a cost-saving mechanism. Therefore, not only is the provincial government not listening to students, they are also interfering with federal interventions to meet students’ needs.
OUSA has asked the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to:
- Stop OSAP clawbacks as a result of increased federal funding through Canada Student Grants; and
- Invest any savings generated by the doubling of Canada Student Grants back into OSAP to provide more direct support for students who need it most.