Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance releases policy paper: “Accountability”

Updated January 17, 2022: This paper has been combined with OUSA's "System Vision" policy paper. This policy can now be found here as Accountability and System Vision.

November 15th, 2017

Toronto, ON -  A policy paper released by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) this morning, focuses on enhancing the accountability of public universities in Ontario. The paper was written, approved, and published by students with the purpose of providing recommendations for accountability mechanisms to public goals and priorities in the areas of: quality assurance, Strategic Mandate Agreements, university governance, and Ombudsman offices.

This paper includes many achievable steps towards improving the accountability of Ontario’s universities. Current concerns include: vague degree level expectations, inadequate quality assurance processes, gaps within the Strategic Mandate Agreements, and insufficient independent dispute resolution mechanisms. Overarching recommendations presented in this paper include: fair student representation on governing bodies, unbiased quality assurance mechanisms, strong accountability reporting systems, and independent and integrated institutional Ombudsman offices.

"OUSA's policy paper on accountability provides a unique student perspective to developing a high-quality accountable post-secondary sector. The introduction of these recommendations by both the province and universities would result in a  more fair, accessible, and efficient system that can respond to the changing needs of Ontario's population," said Alexander "AJ" Wray, senior undergraduate co-op student at the University of Waterloo, and author on the paper. "Universities would be provided the tools to make a clear case for provincial investment in lacklustre areas, while the province would be empowered to shape the sector to meet the growth of the new knowledge economy."

“I believe it is important for the provincial government to provide more ways for students to address their concerns within the post-secondary sector,” said Stephanie Bellotto, Vice-President University Affairs at the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union and author on the paper. “I am so thankful for our team of authors who were involved in the development of the policy paper. It is amazing looking back at our think tanks to discuss the development of the paper, to many hours of research and edits. I also truly value all of the constructive feedback we were given during breakout sessions and plenary at OUSA’s Fall 2017 General Assembly.”

This paper was written by students from OUSA member associations and presented to the OUSA Fall General Assembly on October 29th for approval. To read the paper, please click here.

OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations a cross Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high quality post-secondary education in Ontario. To achieve this vision we’ve come together to develop solutions to challenges facing higher education, build broad consensus for our policy options, and lobby government to implement them.

Deborah Lam
Operations & Communications Director
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
[email protected]