January 31st, 2020
TORONTO, ON - OUSA releases its submission to the provincial government for Budget 2020.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance is pleased to release its Budget 2020 submission, entitled Educated Investments: Supporting Students for a Better Future. Recent changes in post-secondary have left students feeling uncertain about their futures and worried about completing their studies, and this submission responds to these changes by highlighting the need for investment in student financial aid, mental health care, sexual violence prevention, and experiential learning opportunities. Increased support in these areas will help ensure that all willing and qualified students are able to pursue a post-secondary education in Ontario.
“These recommendations represent an investment in Ontario's future” said Matthew Gerrits, Vice President Finance for OUSA and Steering Committee member for the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. “They aim to improve the physical, mental, and financial well-being of Ontario’s students, and to help build the job-ready skills that these students will bring to boardrooms, construction sites, small businesses and beyond.”
The recommendations in this submission are evidence-based and reflect policies written and ratified by students from OUSA’s eight member institutions. Students recommend that the government increase OSAP grant funding and restore the “targeted free tuition” program implemented in 2016. Other priorities include expanding the Women’s Campus Safety Grant, securing funding for community-based mental health care providers, and re-investing in the Career Ready Fund to encourage employers to create jobs for students and recent graduates.
“Both mental health and gender-based violence crises are apparent on our campuses. Investments in support and prevention are responsible investments that will ensure our students can be healthy and safe while attending post-secondary” said Catherine Dunne, President of OUSA and Steering Committee member for the University Students’ Council at Western University. “These recommendations are a step in the right direction, and committing to them would affirm the province’s dedication to students’ well-being.”
OUSA understands that the current government has prioritized balancing the budget and is looking to make responsible investments through Budget 2020. The recommendations in this submission emphasize that supporting students is a responsible investment in the future of Ontario’s workforce.
Read the submission here.
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OUSA represents the interests of 150,000 professional and undergraduate, full-time and part-time university students at eight student associations across Ontario. Our vision is for an accessible, affordable, accountable, and high-quality post-secondary education in Ontario.
Communications & Operations Coordinator
Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance