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Campus Bulletin

May 10, 2002

Throne speech sends positive signals to Ontario's university-bound students, COU says

Ontario universities were encouraged by Thursday's throne speech, which noted that the government will build on previous commitments and provide further resources to postsecondary institutions to meet higher-than-expected student demand.

"This news is particularly welcome given the fact that enrolments are already exceeding the projections on which the government’s commitment to full funding for every new student was made in the May 2001 budget," said Mordechai Rozanski, Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and U of G president.

“We know that there is a clear awareness, both within and beyond government, of the importance of providing universities with the resources to give growing numbers of students a quality education. Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and other government officials have been working very hard with universities and colleges to plan for this dramatic growth. We look forward to the detailed announcement. In the meantime, we are encouraged by the priority being given to education,” Rozanski said.

The announcement that the Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund will be enhanced is welcome news for students in need of financial assistance. The Premier has himself often commented that the opportunity to pursue postsecondary education changed the course of his life and that every young person in this province should have that same chance. Equally welcome is the expansion of the Learning Opportunities Program, which helps students with learning disabilities take advantage of postsecondary opportunities.

“Today’s throne speech recognizes that an investment in the students of Ontario is an investment in the future economic and societal well-being of this province,” said Ian Clark, President of the Council. “We are encouraged by the news that government will expand investment in the knowledge economy by supporting universities and research institutions in creative ways.”

It is anticipated that the number of full-time students attending Ontario universities will increase by close to 100,000 over this decade. The increases are the result of secondary school reform creating what is commonly known as the double cohort, growth in participation rates, and increases in the 18- to 24-year-old population.

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