Toronto Star

Ford’s funding plan for universiti­es, colleges is flawed


Re Ontario ties university and college funding to gradu

ates’ employment rates and salaries, Nov. 26

The provincial government has it backwards; it intends to punish already cash-strapped universiti­es and colleges by imposing a funding for institutio­ns contingent on job placements. Instead, businesses, organizati­ons, labs and academia, itself, should be compelled to hire new grads and to end precarious work and limited contract, gig-economy work. Such initiative­s are part of community-building and would ease the malaise suffered by youths who are hopeless about their futures. Instead of seeking jobs internatio­nally that offer more opportunit­ies than Canada does, grads would stay in Canada if there were an incentive to offer jobs here. Threatenin­g academic institutio­ns does nothing to further education.

Diane Sullivan, Toronto

There are two sides to employment statistics: supply and demand. One cannot measure the effectiven­ess of the supply without measuring the demand. A college or university can turn out talented and skilled people, but has no control over the market. When unemployme­nt is high, will the Ford government adjust its measuremen­t of the employabil­ity of university graduates and the resulting funding of colleges and universiti­es? Second, the success rate is to be measured by one’s success in a field related to the students’ program. It is not made clear whether that is the program the student entered or to the program from which they graduated. Students often change their programs over the four years of a B.A. Further, many achieve success in fields not directly related to but using skills and knowledge from their programs. In my time as dean of fine arts at York, I received a letter from a graduate saying she credited her success in the retail field to the knowledge she gained as a theatre student: being a team member, working with limited time and resources, yet having to deliver an “on-time” product because the curtain always goes up … on time. Phillip Silver, York University

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada