A survey says students are not getting the quality of education they expect from their post-secondary education, the Canadian Press reports.
The study included the opinions of over 2,000 participants from 22 universities in Ontario, the students credit large classroom sizes, outdated facilities and lack of professors for their disappointment.
Hero Azar, 24, a fifth-year student at the University of Toronto at Scarborough (UTSC), agrees with the surveys assessment.
“The facilities have barely really caught up with the number of students coming in here,” Azar says. “Things are more crowded, there is less study spaces than there used to be, and there’s more people vying for the same computers.”
She is not the only one to notice the increase in student population over the last three years.
Laura Matthews, a marketing and communications officer at UTSC, says student enrolment has grown by 100 per cent since the 2000/2001 academic year. UTSC is struggling to accommodate this increase.
“Right now, we have over 10,000 students on campus,” Matthews says. “I readily acknowledge that we have space for 6,000 students. So it has really become a critical problem.”
Matthews admits this is not an ideal situation.
“It is hindering, hurting the student experience here,” she says.
Since 2003, over $122 million has been invested in buildings across the campus. But as more and more students enrol at UTSC, the administration struggles to provide the adequate spaces necessary to accommodate them.
The university is not employing enough professors so students are stuck in large classes with less one-on-one time with instructors.
“No, I definitely feel that I don’t have that connection,” Azar says. “And it becomes very problematic when you enter your upper years and you need reference letters, you need research positions, and you need to have those connections with your instructors.”
But Matthews insists these problems will be solved over time.
This year alone 14 new faculty members have been added to the university staff and there are plans to expand the campus over the next few years.
The university is working towards, what Mathews calls a “master plan.” It proposes expanding the campus to the north end of Ellesmere Rd. and Military Trail.
“The intersection would certainly become the crossroads to both campuses,” Matthews says. “And UTSC could be a whole different environment in another 10 years, just as it is right now so different to how it was 10 years ago.”