When Ontario began to expand its higher education system in the mid-1960s, it made an important choice: to provide public funding to universities on the basis of a formula. Many jurisdictions, in Canada and beyond, do not use such formulae in their higher education systems. But there are clear advantages to such an arrangement. A funding formula supports the distribution of funding in a predictable, equitable way, that can be easily understood by those who study and work within our
Nevertheless, no formula can remain functional forever, especially as the world changes and our expectations of universities shift. For this reason, OCUFA welcomes the University Funding Formula Review, initiated by the Government of Ontario in early 2015. We particularly welcome the opportunity to provide feedback into this process on behalf of the province’s professors and
The university funding formula is deeply important to the success and vitality of Ontario’s universities. It cannot therefore be treated as a laboratory to play with the latest fads in university finance. A measured and responsible approach to reforming the university funding formula should retain its greatest strengths, while correcting its flaws. The Government of Ontario, as the
steward of the university sector, has the important task of working with the sector to identify these weaknesses and strengths, and rejecting harmful policy proposals masquerading as innovations.