Higher Education Works
For decades, a university education has helped students learn, develop critical thinking skills, and pursue possibilities in their lives and careers.
For academics, universities have been a place to advance research, educate Manitobans, and safeguard human knowledge in a rapidly changing world.
But Manitoba’s universities are under threat.
In February 2021, the PC government unveiled plans to undertake sweeping reforms to higher education that would drastically upend the university system as we know it. Under Manitoba’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy:
- Politicians, rather than university administrators, would set tuition fees for programs and courses based on narrow partisan interests.
- Funding would be awarded based on as yet undetermined performance measures, such as graduation rates, marginalizing disadvantaged students.
- Programs would be shifted to address narrow definitions of labour market needs, rather than the interests and abilities of students.
The Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations believes this is the wrong approach to higher learning that will politicize university education, decrease affordability, and hamper the ability of students to chart their own path in life.
And coming on the heels of years of cuts to university operating budgets, political interference in collective bargaining, and rising tuition fees, academic staff have had enough.
MOFA is calling on the provincial government to stop this plan and keep its hands off higher education. Because higher education already works.
Instead, university staff and students need a well-funded, quality, affordable university system free from political interference that will continue to serve students, employers, and citizens of this province now and into the future.
From the passage of Bill 33 to the perverse impacts of performance-based funding, why the PC plan for higher education is bad for students and faculty.
- Bill 33 Fact Sheet
- Manitoba’s Skills, Knowledge and Talent Strategy Fact Sheet
- Why Higher Education Matters (MOFA Brief)
- Pallister Undermines University Autonomy (OpEd)
- Performance-Based Metrics Don’t Help Education (OpEd)
It takes a village to convince a majority government to step away from the Manitoba’s Skills, Talent and Knowledge Strategy. Let’s get to work.
- Sign Our Hands Off Higher Education Petition
- Join our Higher Education Works Letter-Writing Campaign
- Pledge Your Support for MOFA’s Vision for Higher Education
- Read our Speaker’s Guide to Proposed Changes in Higher Education
While MOFA primarily advocates for a strong higher education sector, many professors and academic staff are deeply concerned about the long-term impact of austerity measures currently sweeping through Manitoba, as well as the erosion of Charter-protected rights in this province.
With so much at stake—from the right to protest, to the future of K-12 education—MOFA wishes to engage citizens, on several issues of concern.
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