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Ontario teens worried about declining quality of education, future jobs: poll

According to a new poll, most students heading to university in the region are worried about finding a job after graduating. Muharrem ├Âner / Getty Images

Most students heading to university in the region are worried about finding a job after graduating, according to a new poll done for the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).

The poll found that 60 per cent of university-bound students aged 15 to 17 are concerned they won’t find a well-paid, full-time job after university.

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More than 70 per cent also said they’d prefer to have professors who are full-time with secure positions and benefits than a contract professor.

“Our members [and Ontarians alike] are clearly in favour of professors with full-time, secure employment, with the same pay as everyone else and benefits,” said Gyllian Phillips, president of OCUFA.

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The number of professors on contract, said Phillips, is concerning.

“Recent data suggests that more than 50 per cent of courses taught in Ontario universities are taught not by full-time, tenured faculty, but, in fact, by people working on short-term contracts with a fraction of the wages with no access to benefits and no job security,” she said.

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Phillips said in some cases, it makes sense to have courses taught by contract workers.

“Obviously, we would definitely see that sort of practical component as always being an important part of the university,” she said.

“It’s the creep into these other disciplines and just the overall increase of courses taught by contract faculty that is the major concern,” said Phillips.

The data was compiled by Mission Research and involved just over 2,000 online interviews drawn from a random sample of Ontarians age 15 and older.

— With files from Jacquelyn Lebel and Mike Stubbs

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