Ontario re-affirms commitment to access and excellence for students in the double cohort
TORONTO, Jan. 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario government today re-affirmed its commitment that the province's postsecondary institutions will be prepared to meet the needs of the double cohort, Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Dianne Cunningham announced today.
"We have worked carefully with partners in our publicly funded postsecondary institutions to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure every willing and qualified student continues to find a place in a college or university program," said Cunningham. "Together, we built a plan to match the enrolment projections developed at each of Ontario's colleges and universities."
To prepare for the expected increase in enrolment the government established capacity working groups with membership from the Council of Universities and Association of Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology of Ontario. These groups were full partners in setting the enrolment projections which formed the basis of the plan to prepare for the double cohort.
Key elements of the government's plan include:
- a $1.8 billion investment through SuperBuild and our partners to
support the largest single capital construction program in the sector
in 30 years that will create at least 73,000 new student spaces at
campuses across the province;
- an investment of $297.5 million since 1999 to upgrade existing
facilities so they can be used more effectively; and
- a multi-year commitment in the 2001 Budget of up to $293 million in
increased operating grants by 2003-04 to allow institutions to begin
hiring the additional faculty they will need to provide high-quality
"By providing a multi-year commitment in increased operating funds that met existing projections, our government directly responded to the request from institutions that they have the certainty they need to plan for a sustained period of growth," Cunningham said. "We will continue to work with our colleges and universities to monitor enrolment data to ensure our institutions are ready."
Enrolment projections are crucial for planning in the postsecondary system since actual enrolment data is not available from institutions until mid-way through an academic year.
The double cohort, which refers to those students who entered Grades 11 and 12 in September, 2001, will be ready to graduate from high school at the same time in 2003. Full details of the plan are available at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/cohort.html.
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For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Tanya Cholakov, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, 416-325-7526; Dave Ross, Minister's Office, 416-326-1625