Ontario funding for colleges and universities increased to $2.5 billion
TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ - The Ontario Government will provide $2.5 billion in operating grants in 2001-02, an increase of $72 million over last year, to allow colleges and universities to meet the growing demand for postsecondary education, announced Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.
"We are committed to ensuring that there is a place for every qualified student who wants to go to college or university," said Cunningham. "This increase is the first in a multi-year funding commitment that will enable schools to meet the challenges of increasing enrolment."
In the 2001 Ontario budget, the government committed to increasing operating grants for postsecondary education by a projected $293 million by 2003-04. This commitment is a key component of the government's comprehensive plan for the increased enrolment expected in 2003 when two classes will graduate from high school at the same time, the so called "double cohort".
The government previously announced a $1.8 billion building blitz on postsecondary campuses to create 73,000 new student spaces. Financial assistance programs will also expand to accommodate the growing number of students.
"Students and parents can be assured that the challenges of the double cohort are being met, and our young people will continue to have access to the high-quality postsecondary education and training programs they need to succeed," said Cunningham.
The increased operating grants will allow colleges and universities, including teachers' colleges and medical schools, to accommodate additional students and provide incentives to improve quality. A portion of the grants will be awarded based on an institution's performance in key areas such as graduate employment rates.
"This plan will allow universities and colleges to create new facilities and hire world-class researchers and instructors," said Cunningham. "It will help our students get the education and training they need to reach their full potential as citizens of Ontario."
A PLACE FOR EVERY QUALIFIED STUDENT
The Ontario government is working hard to ensure that there is a place for every qualified student who wants to go to college or university. In today's constantly changing global marketplace, it's important that Ontario has the educated, skilled and flexible workforce it needs to compete and win.
A Plan for Postsecondary Education
In 2001-02, operating grants to support postsecondary education will increase by $72 million. The funding is part of the government's comprehensive plan for the increased enrolment expected in 2003 when two classes will graduate from high school at the same time.
This investment brings total operating grants for postsecondary institutions to $2.5 billion. Of this, universities receive $1.72 billion and colleges receive $745.8 million. As promised in its 2001 Budget, the government is providing $293 million in increased funding to colleges and universities by 2003-04. This will help postsecondary schools accommodate projected enrolment increases.
As well, the government is ensuring better access and more choice for students in Northern Ontario by investing an additional $1.4 million in immediate support for northern colleges and universities.
Rewarding and Strengthening Accountability
A portion of college and university operating grants will reward performance and strengthen accountability in postsecondary schools. In conjunction with colleges and universities, the government has established benchmarks for good performance. Institutions that meet or surpass the benchmarks will be eligible for even bigger grants under this new performance- based funding. Colleges that meet or surpass performance in three key areas: graduate employment, graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction, will be eligible for $16.4 million in performance-based operating grants.
A portion of universities' total operating grants will be based on each institution's performance in relation to three indicators: graduate employment after six months, graduate employment after two years and the university's graduation rate. Universities will be eligible for $23.2 million in performance-based operating grants.
More Spaces for Teachers and Doctors
To make sure that people in Ontario continue to get quality health and education services, the government is investing in new spaces in medical schools and teachers' colleges.
Specifically, the government will invest $3.75 million to create 500 new spaces in teachers' colleges and $2 million to create 80 new first-year spaces in medical schools.
SuperBuild Expansion Investments
Right now, a $1.8 billion SuperBuild building blitz is underway on postsecondary campuses to create 73,000 new student spaces province-wide. SuperBuild is the first phase of the Government of Ontario's plan to ensure that now, and in the future, every willing and qualified student will find a place in a college or university program.
This plan will allow universities and colleges to offer state-of-the-art facilities and hire world-class researchers and instructors.
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For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Contacts: Dave Ross, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-2709; Kerry Kincaid Delaney, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625