A new Frontier Centre study supported the NDP Minister of Education’s decision to shut down the Council on Post-Secondary Education.
The NDP Minister of Education, James Allum, planned to fold the Council on Post Secondary Education into the Department of Education. A new study by the Frontier Centre for Public Policy supported the Minister’s decision. Unfortunately, the Minister backed down as universities and faculty unions mounted their attacks. Nevertheless, taxpayers and students have been shouldering an ever-increasing burden, but there is little evidence that higher spending at the University of Manitoba resulted in higher graduation rates for undergraduate students.
In “The Allocation of Resources and Degrees Awarded: A Case Study of the University of Manitoba 2001 to 2008,” Professor Rod Clifton examines the expenditures on faculty members and support staff and the number of students graduating from the faculties and schools. He shows that there is little, if any, relationship between the amount of money that faculties and schools spend on personnel and the number of students they graduate. Moreover, fewer than 60 percent of students who enroll in first year, graduate within six years.
Key findings show:
• Between 2001 and 2008, the number of undergraduate degrees awarded increased by 24 percent while the number of graduate degrees awarded increased by 35 percent. Over this period, the university funding increased by 49 percent and the Consumer Price Index increased by 16 percent.
• Between 2001 and 2008, Agriculture and Food Sciences decreased the number of undergraduate degrees awarded by 28 percent (from 170 to 123) and increased the number of graduate degrees by 63 percent (from 41 to 67). Over the same period, funding increased by 27 percent.
• Likewise, Architecture decreased the number of undergraduate degrees awarded by 18 percent (from 96 to 79) and increased the number of graduate degrees by 50 percent (from 41 to 62). The funding increased by 45 percent.
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy has long supported increased accountability from universities and colleges. “The procedures used for allocating funds need to become more transparent because presently some faculties and schools are favored at the expensive of others,” said Clifton. “Fortunately, the U of M publishes excellent data, and the other institutions in the province should publish similar data.”
Hopefully, the Minister of Education will introduce new legislation that will force all post-secondary institutions to report on their expenditures and graduation rates. This information will tell students and taxpayers how well the universities and colleges are meeting their educational responsibilities. Professor Clifton says that more accountability to taxpayers and students is the only real option for sustaining a viable post-secondary educational system in Manitoba.
View the entire study here: http://archive.fcpp.org/posts/the-allocation-of-resources-and-degrees-awarded