Council of Ontario Universities calls on Federal Government to work with Provinces to make Post-Secondary Education (PSE) a National Priority



    TORONTO, Oct. 17 /CNW/ - Ontario's universities welcomed the Federal
Government's Throne Speech commitment to support researchers and innovators in
bringing new ideas to market through Canada's Science and Technology Strategy.
COU also supports the commitment to build new infrastructure to ensure the
"fundamentals for continued growth."
    "Such investments in research and higher learning are critical to driving
innovation and growth in Ontario and across the country." said Peter George,
Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and President of McMaster
University. "We also appreciate the Federal Government's recognition of the
challenges for some families in affording the rising costs of higher
education," said George.
    With infrastructure cited as a priority in the SFT, it is essential to
note the growing need to modernize the aging infrastructure of labs, libraries
and classrooms at universities across Canada. Our universities are the
incubators for cutting-edge research, both basic and applied. COU calls on the
federal government to ensure that infrastructure investments will include
support for these foundational elements of the knowledge economy.
    Ontario universities are also experiencing an unprecedented growth in
enrolment, with an increase of 50% occurring over this decade. By 2021,
enrollment is expected to have increased by 120,000, the equivalent of adding
another Queen's, U of T and Waterloo to our system.
    New resources are required to support expanded student access and new
graduate scholarships, along with the renewal of infrastructure at Ontario
universities.
    In its "Reaching Higher" plan the Government of Ontario made major and
welcome new investments to revitalize Ontario Universities. The next federal
Budget implementing the SFT should build on these investments through
strengthened transfers targeted to PSE.
    "Escalating demand is a strong endorsement of both the quality of the
education being delivered and its importance in today's job market," said Dr.
Paul Genest, President of COU. "The Federal Government has an important
leadership role in working with the provinces to support continued excellence
in our universities. Post-secondary education and research need to be
recognized as national priorities."





For further information:

For further information: From: Jennifer Grass, Senior Director,
Communications And Public Affairs, (416) 707-6787; For Dr. Paul C. Genest,
President and CEO, (416) 979-2165 ext 256, (416) 779-2331


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