Ontario University Professors favour research over teaching.
According to a report published by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), almost three-quarters of surveyed university professors feel focusing on research is more vital than teaching.
“This report should be on the desk of anyone concerned about the quality of a post-secondary education in Ontario,” said Meaghan Coker, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).
The report, entitled University Faculty Engagement in Teaching Development Activities, also found that 95% of professors said that teaching is important or very important to their professional practice, while far less (61%) feel that teaching is important or very important to their institution.
The report also points to obstacles that keep Ontario’s professors from focusing on teaching, such as:
- Overemphasis on research funding
- A lack of incentives
- Flawed expectations of how to balance research and teaching
- A sudden transition from grad student to faculty position, which doesn’t allow a chance to learn how to teach
- Ignoring the needs of sessional and contract lecturers
“Ontario’s professors clearly want to do more to enhance the quality of their teaching, but they are discouraged by a system that is driven by research dollars and institutional prestige rather than learning outcomes for students,” added Coker.