Students to benefit from more choices in degrees

Archived Release

Students to benefit from more choices in degrees

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

TORONTO, Oct. 1 /CNW/ - Ontario's students can expect an expanded range of high-quality opportunities for postsecondary education with today's proclamation of the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000.
"With the proclamation of this Act, we're taking the next step in our strategy to ensure students of all ages have the full range of educational choices they will need to compete and succeed in today's rapidly changing workforce," said Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "Our goal is to make our postsecondary system more responsive to the changing needs of students and working adults."
Cunningham spoke from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan., where she is attending the Council of Ministers of Education Canada conference.
The Minister will soon be in a position to begin accepting applications for new degree programs proposed by out-of-province institutions and new degree-granting institutions located in Ontario, including privately funded institutions located in Ontario. The Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board (PEQAB) has been established to assess and make recommendations to the Minister on the quality of proposed programs.
The new Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act also allows Ontario's colleges of applied arts and technology to apply for consent to grant applied degrees.
Applications for new applied degree programs at the Ontario colleges of applied arts and technology and for out-of-province and private institutions to establish postsecondary institutions in Ontario are anticipated to be referred to the PEQAB later in the fall.
"This Act and the PEQAB are part of the government's overall strategy to ensure that Ontario will have the educated and skilled workers that we need to support a growing economy for the 21st century," Cunningham said. "Our strategy brings together the full weight of our province's education and training systems to ensure people of all ages will have access to the full range of education and training choices they need to keep pace with a changing world."

Backgrounder

ONTARIO' COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY TO TRAIN
TOMORROW'S WORKFORCE

The proclamation of the Post-secondary Education Choice and Excellence Act, 2000 will provide students with the full range of educational choices they need to keep pace with today's rapidly changing workplace. The Act is the next step in Ontario's comprehensive strategy to ensure the province has the skilled workforce needed to attract jobs and investment.
Ontario is committed to breaking down the silos that used to characterize education and training programs to build a seamless, effective strategy to ensure students and workers of all ages have flexible opportunities throughout their lives to acquire the new skills or upgrade existing ones that they will need to compete and succeed in the 21st century.

The comprehensive strategy includes:

- More facilities and educators in the postsecondary education and
training system to serve the needs of double cohort students. This has
included an investment of $1.8 billion from SuperBuild and private
sector partners to create new 73,000 new spaces at postsecondary
institutions. In the 2001 budget, the government committed to
increasing support for colleges and universities by a projected $293
million by 2003-04.

- A commitment to double the number of entrants to apprenticeship
programs, including pre-apprenticeship training, journey person
upgrading and a $50 million program over five years to update training
facilities in the college system. Registration of new apprentices
increased by 12 per cent this year to 15,802 workers.

- Job Connect which is helping 120,000 people - primarily youth - who are
out of work and out of school to pursue the education and work
experience they need to achieve their goals.

- An expansion of bridging programs and the creation of an academic
credential assessment service will help immigrants put their skills to
work more quickly. The Ontario government has committed $12 million
over 3 years to create more bridging programs to help foreign-trained
people participate in the economy more quickly.

- The new high school program that is encouraging more high school
students to learn about careers and develop their work experience. More
than 5,000 employers are participating in school-work transition
programs, such as the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program.

- The Ontario government will invest $60 million to create the Ontario
Institute of Technology, an innovative postsecondary institution that
will link education and skills training with the needs of the
marketplace.

- Mandatory literacy testing and training for Ontario Works participants
whose literacy skills may be a barrier to employment will be introduced
October 1, 2001 and will be implemented province-wide by April 2002.
Currently, 17,000 welfare recipients are being served by the Literacy
and Basic Skills Program.
For further information: Dave Ross, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; Tanya Cholakov, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-7526