Postsecondary review to improve quality and expand access

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Postsecondary review to improve quality and expand access

Former Premier Bob Rae to conduct comprehensive review TORONTO, June 8 - The McGuinty government is providing more opportunities for students and improving Ontario's competitive edge with a comprehensive review of the design and funding of Ontario's postsecondary education system led by former Premier Bob Rae. In launching the review today, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Mary Anne Chambers also announced a seven-member panel to assist the former Premier, whose recommendations are due in January 2005. "The key to competing and winning in a highly competitive global economy is having the most highly skilled and educated workforce," said Chambers. Members of the advisory panel include: Leslie Church, a law student and former executive director, Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance; Ian Davidson, chief of police for Greater Sudbury; former Premier William Davis; Don Drummond, senior vice president and chief economist TD Bank Financial Group; Dr. Inez Elliston, retired educator and community leader; Richard Johnston, retiring president of Centennial College; and Huguette Labelle, chancellor of the University of Ottawa. "I am pleased that former Premier Bob Rae has agreed to offer his extensive experience and expertise to this review. He will be assisted by a group of outstanding individuals as we work with our partners to develop a sustainable postsecondary system that is a pillar for the future success of Ontario, its people and its economy," said Chambers. Rae will lead consultations with students and their parents, university and college partners and members of the private and public sectors to develop an accessible, affordable and accountable, high quality postsecondary education system with a sustainable funding framework. "Our review will look at not only what we have done in Ontario but more broadly at the world to consider what other jurisdictions with great public institutions of higher learning have done, are doing, and plan to do," Rae said. "We are seeking to put Ontario at the forefront of innovation in support for higher education." "Our government is committed to excellence at all levels of public education," said Chambers. Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- BOB RAE TO OFFER INNOVATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS Former Premier Bob Rae, with the support of an advisory panel, will develop innovative recommendations for the design and funding of Ontario's postsecondary education system. Rae is expected to report back to the Premier and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities early in 2005. The mandate of the review is to make recommendations to: - Develop a more coordinated, collaborative and differentiated system; and - Develop a sustainable funding framework, including operating grants, tuition and student assistance, in support of the newly designed system. These suggestions would allow students to move easily between institutions, promote greater enhancement of institutions' unique strengths, provide opportunities to invest in particular areas of specialization and make Ontario's postsecondary system more internationally competitive. Rae, with the support of the advisory panel, will develop his recommendations through consultation with postsecondary education institutions, students and their parents, faculty and staff, and the private and public sectors. He will also ask leaders, innovators and experts drawn from Ontario, other provinces and abroad for advice on issues such as system design, collaboration, funding, student assistance and accountability. Adviser to the Premier and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities The Hon. Bob Rae served as Ontario's 21st Premier, and was elected eight times to federal and provincial parliaments before his retirement from politics in 1996. Rae, who is currently Chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University, is also a partner with Goodmans LLP and chairman and president of the Forum of Federations. Rae has degrees from the University of Toronto and Oxford University and was a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario. He was named a Queen's Counsel in 1984. Advisory Panel Members Leslie Church became involved in student organizations serving as president of the Student's Union and chair of the Council of Alberta University Students while completing a degree at the University of Alberta. She has completed a Masters in Politics of the World Economy at the London School of Economics and recently served as the executive director of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance. She is currently completing a Juris Doctor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. Ian Davidson is chief of police in the City of Greater Sudbury and is active in community service, participating in a wide range of First Nations, multicultural, youth and seniors initiatives. As a result of the Somalia Inquiry, he was asked to participate in a review of the Canadian Military Police, the National Investigative Service and the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal to improve oversight, transparency and effectiveness of military policing activities. He holds a bachelor's degree, major in law, from Carleton University and is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management's police leadership program and the FBI National Academy. The Hon. William Davis P.C., C.C., Q.C.served as Ontario's premier from 1971 to 1985. Named education minister in 1962, he presided over the reshaping of Ontario's education system creating new universities and TV Ontario. Under his leadership as education minister and premier, the province's education system was further expanded with the launch of Ontario's college system. Davis is counsel at the law firm of Torys LLP, a recipient of the Order of Canada and has served on numerous corporate boards since retiring from politics. Don Drummond is senior vice-president and chief economist for the TD Bank Financial Group. Prior to joining the bank in 2000, Drummond worked in the federal Department of Finance for 23 years, rising to become associate deputy minister. In his current position, he leads TD's work in analysing and forecasting economic performance in Canada and abroad. Drummond recently co- authored a special report on postsecondary education in Canada. Dr. Inez Elliston is an educator, researcher, writer and consultant who retired from the Ministry of Education and Training, and the Toronto (Scarborough) District School Board. For more than 30 years, she has been involved in teaching, professional development and training in schools and at the university level. A well-known community leader, Elliston was an alumni representative on the Governing Council of the University of Toronto for three years. She is also a director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and a past president of the Canadian Council on Multicultural and Intercultural Education. Richard Johnston is president of Centennial College and retires this month. He served in the Ontario legislature from 1979 to 1990, including being a critic for education, colleges and universities and skills development for three years. Johnston is past chair of the Ontario Council of Regents, where he led the implementation of a range of reforms and helped to establish two French Colleges. He has lectured and taught at Trent University where he was a student, administrator and a member of the board of governors. He also served as president of the First Nations Technical Institute in the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory near Belleville. Huguette Labelle is chancellor of the University of Ottawa and a Companion of the Order of Canada. She has held senior positions with the federal government including president of the Canadian International Development Agency and deputy minister of Transport Canada. During her many years of community service, Labelle served on the advisory council of the Canadian Bureau for International Education and the boards of Carleton University, McGill University and Algonquin College as well as many local, national and international organizations. Disponible en fran├žais www.edu.gov.on.caFor further information: Linda Chiarvesio, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1609; Linda Nicolson, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2667; Public Inquiries: (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY: 1-800-263-2892