New legislation will offer more choice to postsecondary students
TORONTO, Dec. 20 /CNW/ - Legislation was passed today that will offer Ontario's students expanded choice in postsecondary education.
"This Act will help to give students more opportunities for a high- quality education and ensure that they will have innovative and flexible choices," Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham said.
The Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000 will:
- Allow private, degree-granting institutions to apply for consent to
operate in Ontario.
- Allow colleges of applied arts and technology to apply for consent to
grant applied degrees.
- Continue in legislation the Post-secondary Education Quality
Assessment Board, an organization to make recommendations to the
minister on proposed new degree programs - including those proposed by
privately funded institutions in Ontario.
- Ensure that all new private postsecondary institutions provide
appropriate financial protection for students before these
institutions are given consent to offer degrees in Ontario.
- Give the government an additional tool to protect the public interest
in the proper administration of the Ontario Student Assistance Program
(OSAP). The legislation will create new provincial offences to crack
down on abuse.
"Ontario's prosperity and the future prosperity of our students depends on them having access to high-quality and relevant education and training programs where and when they need them," said Cunningham. "By increasing the range of options in Ontario, we are promoting excellence at our degree- granting institutions and making Ontario's education system the envy of the world."
"With the advent of private institutions in Ontario, prospective students will have greater choice than ever before," Douglas Robson, President of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, said during consultations for the new legislation. "The proposed legislation will therefore enable working people to access quality education at their convenience. This may be in the form of programs offered in the evenings or on-line, both of which are initiatives that private institutions may be more inclined to offer."
"The introduction of the baccalaureate degrees in applied education means more student choice and more options for them, more market-current education, more employment-ready graduates, more appropriate recognition of their credentials and smoother transition to further studies," said Michael Cooke, VP, Academic Excellence at George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology.
For further information: Kerry Kincaid Delaney, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; Dave Ross, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2709