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Research Reports

From time to time, OUSA releases various research reports based on public opinion polls, surveys, or other research on a pertinent topic related to post-secondary education.

Quality - Results from the 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (previously OPSSS)

OUSA is excited to release the third and final report of our three-part report series, sharing results from our 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (OUSS), previously known as the Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey. This final report discusses the quality of post-secondary, and the impacts covid-19 has had on teaching and learning, the experiences of international students, affects to student employability, civic engagement, and the prevalence of students’ declining mental health. Our results indicate that the quality of the post-secondary experience for students has changed drastically when compared to 2017; many students were unsatisfied with the quality of online learning and the availability of mental health support. OUSA hopes that the findings from this report will act as evidence to strengthen the quality of education, and the overall post-secondary experience, as we continue to navigate the precarious learning environment due to COVID-19.

Accessibility - Results from the 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (previously OPSSS)

OUSA is excited to release the second of a three-part report series, sharing results from our 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (OUSS), previously known as the Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey. This second report discusses how post-secondary accessibility is impacted by various factors including demographics, credit transfer pathways, and housing and transportation barriers. Our results indicate that safety and comfort levels continue to impact underrepresented student groups, many were unsatisfied with rationales for non-transferrable credits, and housing access was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic and high costs. Further actions are warranted to expand access to Ontario’s post-secondary system; OUSA hopes that findings from this report will act as evidence to continue broadening access to education in ways that comprehensively and equitably meet the needs of all students, and consequently facilitate successful post-graduation outcomes.

 

Affordability - Results from the 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey (previously OPSSS)

OUSA is pleased to publish the findings from our 2020 Ontario Undergraduate Student Survey, previously known as the Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey. This report, the first in a series of three, focuses on issues of affordability for Ontario’s post-secondary students. Administered under the context of the 2019 OSAP changes and COVID-19 pandemic, results reveal that students continue to struggle with financing their education, with notable trends indicating this to be more worrisome for low-income, first-generation, racialized, and disabled students. Students are concerned about their levels of debt and limited financial aid, and face various challenges related to employment. It is our hope that findings from this report will provide the impetus needed to strengthen student financial aid and employment supports, increasing the affordability of Ontario post-secondary education.

 

Invisible Intersections: Bringing the Experiences of Young Adult Caregivers into Public Discourse

This past year has signaled a shift in the national discourse of caregiving. In May 2021, the Federal Budget reflected a nationwide early learning and childcare program, a significant win for the country, particularly mothers and caregivers. The promotion of caregiving in public discourse, especially as the world became increasingly online over the past 18 months, presents an opportunity to broaden understandings of caregiving and bring to the forefront an invisible group in this category: Young Adult Caregivers (YACs or student carers).

Post-Pandemic Pedagogies: What COVID-19 Can Teach Us About Blended, Distance, and Emergency Online Learning in Tomorrow's World

The global pandemic has posed serious and significant challenges to the post-secondary sector. In response to COVID-19, Institutions across the province have adopted blended and distance learning for the 2020-2021 academic year. In light of this, OUSA’s Summer Intern, Zamir, looks at how universities can further engage in online and distance learning without compromising the quality and accessibility of post-secondary education. 

Quality - Results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey

This report is the third in a three-part series presenting the results of the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey (OPSSS). It highlights quality as a policy priority for students from OUSA’s member institutions and discusses several topics, including the quality of teaching, learning, online courses, experiential learning, and course evaluations, as well as municipal engagement and international students’ experiences at Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

Affordability - Results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey

This report is the second in a three-part series presenting the results of the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey (OPSSS). It highlights affordability as a policy priority for students from OUSA’s member institutions and discusses several topics, including funding sources, financial aid, employment trends, and student debt. This report also focuses on the financial realities of students from underrepresented socioeconomic groups.  

 

Accessibility - Results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey

This report is one in a three part series that presents the results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey. The first report, Accessibility: Results from the 2017 Ontario Post-Secondary Student Survey,  highlights the accessibility of Ontario’s universities as a policy priority for OUSA students,   including physical and financial accessibility, as well as feeling safe and included on campus. In this report, three dimensions of accessibility are highlighted: the experiences of underrepresented groups, the ease of mobility between institutions, and the ease of traveling to and living near Ontario’s universities.  

Financing Fees: The Inequitable Burden of University Costs

These findings reinforce why OUSA prioritizes the principles of accessibility and affordability in our advocacy efforts. The OPSSS data clearly illustrated how systemic racism, heterosexism, and ableism intersect with economic precarity to disadvantage students with marginalized identities. Moving forward, it is my hope that the Ontario and federal governments look at this evidence, recognize the continued existence of these inequities, and ultimately expand on the targeted student bursaries and programs. These inequities are constructed by society, and with long-term government commitment we can work to deconstruct them.