TORONTO, Feb. 26, 2016 /CNW/ - Measures in the 2016 Ontario budget to improve access to post-secondary education and increase investment in applied research strengthen the province's college system, according to George Brown College President Anne Sado.
"I am thrilled to see the focus on students in this budget and applaud the Ontario government for making education more accessible," said Sado. "In addition, the new investments in college-based applied research will support industry innovation while making more practical learning opportunities available to students."
The budget helps more students pursue higher learning that leads to a good job without incurring debt. For example, the budget measures will result in free average tuition for every student with a family income of $50,000 or less, starting in the 2017-18 school year.
There are also commitments that students in families with incomes of $83,000 or less will receive non-repayable grants in excess of average tuition, and that students in families with family incomes of less than $50,000 will have no provincial student debt. The maximum debt level for higher-income families will be capped at $10,000 annually.
Another budget highlight was an important investment of $20 million over three years for college-based applied research projects. Recognized as Canada's top research college according to Research Infosource, George Brown generated the most research income in the country in 2014, raising $14.2 million – a 53% increase from the previous year. George Brown also ranks first in industry partnerships, with an increase of nearly 58% compared to last year.
College-led research plays an important role in promoting Canadian innovation: it provides small and medium-sized businesses with the means to develop and commercialize products by drawing on the college's broad range of expertise and resources, giving students valuable real-world learning experience in the process. From prototyping and testing products to developing food innovations building apps and healthcare technologies, George Brown supports industry-driven applied research to help businesses create new products and services.
"I'm happy to see the government recognizes the importance of applied research in preparing our students for future employment," said Sado. "This funding will allow us to expand upon the real-world research we conduct with our business partners, helping them become more innovative and create new jobs while giving students invaluable experience."
As a college that supports a significant number of Aboriginal students, offering a range of services to this community, George Brown is pleased to see the increased investments for Aboriginal education. It is also reassured to have the government's commitment to consult on college funding as the sector approaches its 50th anniversary in 2017.
"This government continues to recognize the value of post-secondary education as necessary for all," said Sado. "The budget demonstrates a strong commitment to helping more students acquire the qualifications and professional skills that lead to rewarding careers."
About George Brown College Research and Innovation
Located at each of George Brown College's three campuses, the office of Research and Innovation operates as the college's single point of access for applied research, connecting industry and community partners to highly qualified and skilled personnel, state-of-the-art facilities and research funding. GBC Research and Innovation engages industry, faculty, students, and the community-at-large through participation in educationally and economically meaningful research projects and partnerships. Each of its major research themes represent a priority area for applied research and training at George Brown College: Health & Health Promotion, Green Technology & Sustainability, Food Product & Recipe Development, and Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
About George Brown College
Toronto's George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. The college offers programs from its three campuses located across the downtown core, including its newest location at the Toronto waterfront, which opened in September 2012. George Brown offers 149 full-time programs and 224 continuing education certificates/ across a wide variety of professions to a student body of over 28,000 (full-time enrolment) students, including over 3,500 international students; and over 64,000 continuing education registrants. Students can earn certificates, diplomas, postgraduate certificates, apprenticeships and degrees. www.georgebrown.ca
SOURCE George Brown College
For further information: Lisa Marchitto, Corporate Communications Manager, George Brown College, Office: 416-415-5000 ext. 3767, Lisa.Marchitto@georgebrown.ca