/CNW/ – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) today published a report examining the growing trend to view university education exclusively as an economic enterprise. The Business of Higher Education explores the impact of this increased commercialization on research, curriculum, faculty, administration and students.
Ontarios universities play a profoundly important role in our economy, said Professor Mark Langer, President of OCUFA. But short-term economic goals must not overshadow equally important functions of higher education — creating a population with the knowledge and independent critical thinking skills required for a healthy society.
The report recommends that the balance between economic interests and the traditional values of liberal arts education be restored at Ontarios universities. To accomplish this, the Government of Ontarios research policies must recognize the importance of basic research and invest more in the humanities and social science. Working with universities, the government must also take a leadership role in educating students on the value of higher education as an end in itself, not just as a pathway to a career.
We are calling for a system that appreciates the many important functions fulfilled by higher education, said Professor Langer. Our universities role in the economy is significant, but a well-balanced university system is the best guarantor of Ontarios economic success while also ensuring the continued vitality of our democracy.
OCUFA has recently launched the Quality Matters campaign (http://www.quality-matters.ca) to raise awareness of the need for greater public funding in the university system. Increased funding will help universities better support basic research and invest in the humanities and social sciences, while simultaneously providing the resources they need to help build a robust knowledge economy in Ontario.
To read the full report, please visit http://bit.ly/5bN9jH.
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represent 15,000 faculty in 25 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at http://www.ocufa.on.ca.