by Editors (What's Left) last modified 2019-02-15T13:48:56-04:00
A collection of articles related to the Ford Government's cuts to higher education and the attack on democratic student organizations in Ontario.

Ford’s Reckless Post-Secondary Education Scheme Will Ensure Only the Rich Can Afford an Education, says OFL

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:22 AM
“The introduction of the ‘Student Choice Initiative’ is an attack on the democracy and autonomy of student unions, which are not-for-profit organizations founded by and for students,” said OFL Executive Vice-President, Ahmad Gaied. Services and representation provided by student unions are paid for by dues that are democratically set by members. These critical services include the coordination of health and dental plans, transit passes, food banks, sexual violence support centres, and academic support and advocacy services. There should be no government interference in students’ democratic decision making. These reforms stifle students’ ability to mobilize and organize on campuses. It reduces political debate and speech on campus as student unions are a necessary platform of engagement for students.

Unifor signals deep concern over PC cuts to colleges, universities | Unifor

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:25 AM
"Ontario's colleges and universities need increased investment to deliver high quality, public post secondary education. The PC's slight of hand won't work here. Today's announcement is a cut, plain and simple," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. Unifor is in support of fully-accessible, public post-secondary education. The union is also concerned that the announcement includes a direct attack on students' unions. "Students' unions are democratic, independent organizations that provide vital services and advocacy for all members," said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. "We have seen Ford's strategy at work before: if you don't like your opposition then silence it. This autocratic attack on students is cynical and obvious."

Reckless government announcement threatens education quality and students’ rights | OCUFA

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:25 AM
Without increased public funding for Ontario’s universities and colleges, the Progressive Conservative Government’s announced tuition fee reduction is nothing more than an ill-conceived political gimmick designed to distract Ontarians from damaging cuts to the province’s already under-funded postsecondary education system. OCUFA is generally in favour of tuition fee reductions but not at the expense of core funding and sound student financial aid policy. OCUFA is concerned that the fee reduction, OSAP cuts, and changes to ancillary fees were announced without consulting any stakeholders at the province’s universities or colleges. This demonstrates a government pursuing a political agenda, not one interested in good public policy or helping students.

Doug Ford: WE are the Students | Canadian Federation of Students

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:26 AM
Today’s announcement is a devastating one for students and workers in the post-secondary sector in the province of Ontario. The announced “Student Choice Initiative” is a transparent attempt to bankrupt students’ unions in the province who are the most critical of sector underfunding and cuts to needs-based grants. The 10% tuition fee reduction is nothing more than a red herring. The proposed cuts to OSAP will harm those students most in need. Moreover, without an increase to operating funds for institutions, this tuition fee reduction will most likely come at the hands of cuts to campus workers and services. Students and workers in the province of Ontario will fight this announcement. This government does not represent students. Students were not consulted in this process. The Ford government is looking to dismantle public post-secondary education and is attempting to eliminate the opposition to do it. #WeAreTheStudents

Ford Sets Students and Post-Secondary Education on Disastrous Path in Ontario | Canadian Federation of Students

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jan 25, 2019 09:26 AM
“The Doug Ford government has attempted to spin this announcement as a 10 per cent reduction in tuition fees when in reality Ford’s plan will increase out-of-pocket costs for students, diminish the quality of education students receive and undermine crucial student supports on campus,” said Nour Alideeb, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. “The reality of loans-based financial aid programs is that students from low-income families pay more for their education in the long-run. This announcement will make life harder for students and their families.”

Where does economic critique come from? | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Oct 03, 2016 10:48 AM
Following the global economic crash of 2008, there has been a lot of discussion about the need for a re-think of mainstream economic thought. While this "orthodox" economics held claim to the economic growth before 2008, it completely failed to predict the economic crash and seems unable to deal with the aftermath. Unfortunately, while the economy they supported collapsed, the theories that set the foundation for the economic crisis have not lost their dominance.

Trudeau breaks important promise to Indigenous students | Emily Niles

by Emily Niles — last modified May 30, 2016 02:39 PM
For the past twenty years, successive federal governments have maintained a restrictive two per cent funding cap on the PSSSP that has resulted in funding falling far behind growing demand for post-secondary education, rising tuition fees and increasing living costs. As a consequence, Indigenous communities administering the funds are forced to make impossible choices about which students in their communities receive support each year.

Corporate structure means corporate methods: Back to school privatization special (Part 3) | What's Left

by Editors (What's Left) — last modified Sep 22, 2015 11:27 AM
Once a university is run as a private corporation, the other processes of privatisation are easier to implement. The resulting silos compartmentalise research, teaching and knowledge transfer from the university's broader social missions. This undermines the delicate ecosystem that allows for knowledge generation. This is why the struggle to sustain and rebuild a functional university system must always include the struggle against corporate restructuring.

Paternalistic tendencies and ideological blind spots of journalists

by Graham H. Cox — last modified May 27, 2014 02:47 PM
The expression of protest is to remind the administration that students run their campuses. Sometimes this mass political expression comes across as a bit contradictory, but that's the nature of liberal arts academies. Neil Macdonald of CBC disagrees however and he is outraged at the very notion that students should have a say about who speaks to them at graduation ceremonies.

Blaming Students for the Supposed Lack of Skilled Tradespeople Is Nonsense | Citizens' Press

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Aug 15, 2013 08:12 PM
The neo-liberal promise of a future with high demand for knowledge economy workers (that never came) moved many away from skilled-trades and toward university degrees. For the Tories to now blame students for getting BAs instead of going to trades college and becoming a welder shows both a cynical disregard of history and this government's own incompetence when it comes to economic planning. Workers and students must show that the alternative to the Tory economic program is the only way forward that will work for Canada.

Textbook Costs and Post-Secondary Education: journalists ask the wrong questions | The Citizens' Press

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Aug 20, 2015 09:50 AM
The school year has begun for most of those going (back) to post-secondary programs and with it comes the barrage of "news" reports on the cost of school supplies. What is really frustrating about these stories is the analysis seems to be that the cost of school supplies and living expenses is too high, but the same journalists writing these stories do not touch on the costs for education as a public service.

Open Access Publishing

by Graham Cox — last modified Jan 17, 2012 08:57 AM
The move to an Open Access publishing model is the only model of publishing that embodies all of the values of the academy. The campaigns to implement funds to support open access should be established as a priority for all universities and governments that fund them.

Canadian Student Debt Limit

by Graham Cox — last modified Dec 26, 2011 11:21 PM
The $15 billion student debt cap has been lifted for no other reason than we will, with current policy, surpass that number over the next year. This landmark deserves more attention than it is getting and the new rules are an affront to good economic management and bad for students.

Student and Youth (Un)Employment

by Graham Cox — last modified Dec 19, 2011 03:15 PM
A quick comment on youth unemployment in response to a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' blog post. Student unemployment in the current economic system cannot be properly addressed without state intervention.

CUPE Local 3903 declares solidarity with the demonstrators throughout the Republic of Turkey

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 14, 2013 12:54 PM
"The Executive Committee of CUPE 3903 stands in admiration of the pluralistic composition of the demonstrations throughout Turkey, and is hopeful that such expressions will be an example to follow in our own country. We are struck by the fact that a population of a democratic country is choosing and able to draw attention to a diverse range of political wishes outside of a routinized electoral cycle which, in practice, is often the only available venue for political expression in democratic countries."
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