March 23, 2009
Larger classes and fewer full-time professors since 2005, according to Ontario university faculty
New report finds faculty deeply concerned about the declining quality
of Ontario university education

Toronto - A major report released today sounds the alarm about declining quality of university education in Ontario. University faculty and librarians expressed concern over larger classes, fewer full-time faculty hires and deteriorating quality.

“Faculty and librarians are on the frontline of university education. They witness the impacts of cuts and constraints every day, and now they are sounding the alarm,” said Brian E. Brown, OCUFA’s President, and Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Windsor. “Again and again, the respondents came back to concrete examples of how our universities are falling behind.”

Key findings from the report:
  • Sixty-two per cent of respondents said that they are facing larger classes than they were just three years ago
  • Twenty-two per cent of respondents claim that no replacements are being hired to replace retiring full-time faculty
  • Forty per cent of respondents believe that today’s students are receiving less educational quality than three years ago
  • Seventy-eight per cent of respondents expect further departmental budget cuts in the coming year

Brown continued: “The Government of Ontario claims that it has made responsive investments in postsecondary education, yet it is evident that universities are deteriorating and the situation will worsen if further budget reductions happen. Thursday’s provincial Budget needs to dedicate more money to hire full-time faculty at Ontario universities. The McGuinty Government needs to act to reverse this clear decline in quality.”

The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations invited Ontario university faculty and librarians to respond to an on-line questionnaire. The questionnaire asked about a range of issues including class size, faculty hiring, research capacity, departmental budgets, and the overall quality of education being delivered to students. Close to 2,000 responses from 22 Ontario universities were received between February 16 and March 13, 2009.


Contact: Henry Mandelbaum, Executive Director, 416-979-2117, Ext. 229,
or Mark Rosenfeld, Associate Executive Director, 416 979-2117, Ext. 233