TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Universities support the provincial
government's job focus in the 2014 Ontario Budget released today, and
are contributing to the highly skilled work force that will help
strengthen Ontario's economy.
Strong economic growth requires a highly educated work force and
university graduates continue to have the highest employment outcomes
of any educational group. The government's Jobs and Prosperity Fund and
Youth Employment Fund are aligned with Ontario universities' goal to
support graduates while spurring economic growth, innovation and jobs.
Universities are continuing to transform their programs with more
entrepreneurial and experiential opportunities in order to better
prepare students for the future.
"Ontario university degrees are in high demand by students and parents
and are also valued by employers around the world," says Max Blouw,
Chair of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and President of
Wilfrid Laurier University. "University graduates have the highest
employment and earnings of any group, and they create a profound
economic impact on our province and beyond."
Committed an additional $500 million over 10 years to address critical
maintenance repairs at universities and colleges, which will help the
sector meet the learning needs of today's students.
Reiterated the plan to build new campuses to ensure access for students
closer to home.
Committed $250 million over three years to research infrastructure,
which will help institutions leverage funds from the federal government
and other sources.
Announced new funding for the Institute for Quantum Computing at the
University of Waterloo and for the Trillium Advanced Manufacturing
Network at Western University.
"Universities understand the current fiscal constraints of government
but, in coming years, Ontario's citizens will expect and deserve
strategic investments in university education, which help drive the
provincial economy," says Bonnie M. Patterson, COU President and CEO.
"As the government moves toward a balanced budget, increasing university
funding - currently the lowest per-student in Canada - would improve
quality, produce more entrepreneurial thinkers, and develop the
talented minds Ontario needs for the future."
Ontario is home to 456,460 university students.
Our universities have accommodated over 153,000 new students since
86.5 per cent of university graduates find jobs within six months, 92.2
per cent within two years.
Statistics Canada reports that university graduates have higher
employment rates and lower rates of unemployment than those who have
any other level of education
COU is a membership organization of 21 publicly assisted universities in
Ontario. It works closely with the provincial and federal governments
to shape public policies that help universities deliver high-quality
programs for students and advance the research and innovation that
improves the social, cultural and economic well-being of Ontarians.
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SOURCE: Council of Ontario Universities
For further information:
Director, Strategic Communications and Media Relations
Telephone: 416-979-2165 x233
Cell phone: 647-271-0825
Email Wendy McCann