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In this issue…

OCUFA’s analysis of the 2019 Ontario Budget

New speakers announced for Worldviews 2019

 

 

OCUFA’s analysis of the 2019 Ontario Budget

On April 11, the 2019 Ontario Budget was tabled. Given the track record of the Ontario government to date, this budget delivered what OCUFA expected: a continued attack on workers’ rights, university autonomy, and public services, including postsecondary education.

The overall postsecondary education and training sector budget is projected to be cut by $700 million, which mainly reflects a deep cut (over $670 million) to the Student Financial Assistance (OSAP) budget. The cut to student financial assistance and the removal of the grace period on provincial loans will leave students with significantly higher debt loads.

In a drastic shift, the budget proposes tying 60 per cent of university funding to “performance outcomes” by 2024-25. In dollar figures, funding tied to performance will increase from $50 million (the current figure for 2018-19) to an estimated $2.2 billion by 2024-25.

OCUFA has long cautioned against shifting towards allocating university funding based on performance. This shift is counterproductive as it will, by design, create inequities and slowly but certainly undermine the integrity of Ontario’s postsecondary education system. This new funding model will only serve to destabilize the sector, make long-term planning impossible, encourage more bureaucracy, and stifle innovation.

The Ontario budget, including legislation that targets the rights of senior faculty, further signals this government’s intention to undermine unions across the entire public sector. OCUFA is very concerned by this development and views it as a direct attack on collective bargaining and collective agreements. It is worth noting that faculty members are employed by, and negotiate their contracts with universities, not the province. Any attempt by the Ford government to interfere in university collective agreements and bargaining practices would violate university autonomy and the constitutionally protected rights of faculty and staff.

Read OCUFA’s complete budget analysis here.

 

 

New speakers announced for Worldviews 2019

The early-bird registration deadline for Worldviews 2019 is tomorrow. After that, ticket prices will increase. Register today to get a special reduced rate on conference registration.

This June, participants from around the globe will gather in Toronto for the 2019 Worldviews on Media and Higher Education Conference. Titled Democracy at risk? Reflecting on the future of higher education and media in a post-truth world, the three-day conference will focus on democracy and the changing power relations of higher education and the media in the global north and south – specifically examining the concept of expertise in a “post-truth” world and the types of voices amplified by emerging technologies.

The conference will bring together a diverse group of academics, students, higher education leaders, communications professionals, and journalists with a wide range of experiences, insights, and opinions, including:

  • Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians
  • Michael Ignatieff, President and Rector of the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary
  • Nermeen Shaikh, Co-Host and News Producer at Democracy Now! and author of The Present as History: Critical Perspectives on Global Power
  • Maria Ressa, CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler.com and former CNN Bureau Chief in Manilla, Philippines
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia and author of Anti-Social Media
  • Sophia Rosenfeld, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Truth and Democracy
  • Tom Nichols, Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College and author of The Death of Expertise
  • Nana aba Duncan, Host of CBC’s Fresh Air and Media Girlfriends podcast
  • Cam Gordon, Head of Communications at Twitter Canada
  • Shree Paradkar, Race and Gender Columnist at the Toronto Star
  • Edward Greenspon, President of the Public Policy Forum and former Editor-in-Chief of The Globe and Mail

Through a series of keynote talks, panel discussions, interviews, and interactive exhibits, conference participants will focus on the challenges and opportunities presented by the democratization of higher education and the media, engage in an ongoing and lively exchange of ideas, and explore innovative possibilities for partnerships.

Learn more about the conference and register.

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Created on: Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

Last updated on: Tuesday, April 30th, 2019