Ontario's commitment to students demonstrated by acceptances at Ontario Universities

Archived Release

Ontario's commitment to students demonstrated by acceptances at Ontario Universities

Ministry of Colleges and Universities

TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - The Ontario government has continued to meet its commitment that there will be a place for every qualified student who wants to go to college or university, Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities said today. She was joined in a news conference by Dr. Mordechai Rozanski, chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and president of the University of Guelph.
Confirmed acceptances for Ontario secondary school students applying directly into university this year have more than kept pace with the increase in applicants this year. The Ontario Universities' Application Centre has confirmed that acceptances for Ontario secondary school students applying directly into university this year increased by 16.3 per cent which matches the 16.3 per cent increase in secondary school applicants.
"This demonstrates that our plan for double cohort students is on track. The numbers show that the proportion of Ontario high school students that were accepted into full-time university programs this fall is the same as in the fall of 2001," Cunningham said.
"It is clear that our universities are responsive to the increased demand resulting from the double cohort fast-trackers, and the objective that qualified and motivated students can be accommodated is being met," Dr. Rozanski said.
To support increased enrolment at universities and colleges this fall, the Ontario government will provide $2.7 billion in operating grants in 2002-03. The 2002 Ontario budget committed to increasing operating grants for postsecondary education by a projected $368 million by 2003-04 to ensure institutions can hire the top faculty needed to provide a quality education.
"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 in today's rapidly changing economy," added Cunningham.
This commitment is a key component of the government's comprehensive plan for the double cohort, the increased enrolment expected in 2003 when two classes will graduate from high school at the same time.
The government previously announced a $1.8 billion building blitz on postsecondary campuses to create 73,000 new student spaces. Since SuperBuild was established in 1999, $337.5 million has been invested to update existing facilities to accommodate additional students. Financial assistance programs are also being expanded to accommodate the growing number of students applying for postsecondary programs.
The increased operating grants will allow colleges and universities to expand enrolment to accept additional students and provide incentives to improve quality. A portion of the grants will continue to be awarded based on an institution's performance in key areas such as graduate employment rates.
"All these measures will help our students get the education and training they need to reach their full potential, and represents an investment in the future economic well-being of the province," added Cunningham.

Backgrounder

A PLACE FOR EVERY WILLING AND QUALIFIED STUDENT

The Ontario government has continued to meet its commitment that every willing and qualified student will have a place in a postsecondary education program. In today's constantly changing global marketplace, it's important that Ontario has the educated, skilled and flexible workforce it needs to attract jobs and investment.
Confirmed acceptances for Ontario secondary school students applying directly into university this year have more than kept pace with the increase in applications this year. The Ontario Universities' Application Centre has confirmed that acceptances for Ontario secondary school students applying directly into university this year increased by 16.3 per cent, which matches the 16.3 per cent increase in secondary school applicants.

A plan for postsecondary education

In 2002-03, operating grants to support postsecondary education will total $2.7 billion. Of this, universities receive $1.87 billion and colleges receive $788.4 million. As promised in its 2002 Budget, the government is providing $368 million in increased funding to colleges and universities by 2003-04. This will help postsecondary schools meet the growing demand for high quality postsecondary programs.
As well, the government is supporting the additional cost of providing services in the North, and in non-urban communities, by providing $10 million in additional operating funds to northern colleges and an additional $6 million to northern universities.

More funding for high demand programs

The government is providing an additional $10.6 million in ongoing grants to support the implementation of the Access to Opportunities Program, a program designed to increase the number of students enrolled in high demand computer and engineering programs.
The government is also providing an additional $18.2 million to support collaborative degree programs in nursing education.
In order to provide students attending colleges with better access to more up-to-date and relevant equipment and learning resources, the government is providing $10 million for the first year in a new multi-year College Equipment and Renewal Fund.

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 enhanced grants under this performance-based funding.
Colleges that meet or surpass performance in three key areas: graduate employment, graduate satisfaction and employer satisfaction, will be eligible for a total of $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 a total of $23.2 million in performance-based operating grants.

SuperBuild expansion investments

Right now, a $1.8 billion SuperBuild construction blitz is underway on postsecondary campuses to create 73,000 new student spaces province-wide. As announced in the 2002 Ontario budget, SuperBuild will work with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to invite a new round of postsecondary SuperBuild proposals. The government will be seeking the most cost-effective and creative financing proposals to increase the number of student spaces in the areas where they are needed.
Since SuperBuild was established in 1999, $337.5 million has been invested to update existing facilities to accommodate additional students. SuperBuild is the first phase of the government'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.

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For more information visit www.edu.gov.on.ca
For further information: Dave Ross, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1625; Bruce Skeaff, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, (416) 325-2709; Arnice Cadieux, Council of Ontario Universities, (416) 979-2165 ext. 224