Monday, March 08, 2010

Ontario Budget: "A whole new University of Guelph!" What about the existing one?

You'll forgive me if I'm not branding Dalton McGuinty the "Post-secondary Education Premier" after today's throne speech. Lt-Governor David Onley's throne speech made reference to a commitment to increase university and college spaces by 20,000 this year, likening this to "a whole new University of Guelph".

Meanwhile, the actual University of Guelph, where I work, is suffering from the last few years of Ontario budget cuts, which failed to deliver on promised inflation-matching funding increases, and turned off the taps on graduate funding, after encouraging the university (and others province-wide) to hire new faculty. What we're faced with now is a non-existent budget for sessional instructors, curtailed funding for graduate students, growing undergraduate class sizes, and faculty retirements that there is no budget to replace.

Here's an idea, Dalton: how about restoring core operating funding to Ontario's colleges and universities so that they can deliver quality education to the existing student base, rather than pumping more undergraduates into overcrowded classrooms?

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At 9:54 am, Anonymous Eamon said...

I agree! Deal with operational issues before dealing with expansion.

I also, generally, don't like the idea of more people being admitted to post-secondary education just for the sake of admitting more people... Standards will suffer.

More people... many who would not have been admitted in the past... means my degree becomes devalued.

Many people who got into school when I did shouldn't have been accepted, and to increase that number means more bottom of the barrell types. People that wouldn't have been admitted before. Shouldn't we have standards? Or is the only standard now the number of graduates we produce?

Expansion screwed up hockey, and now its about to screw up education...


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