Ontario universities applaud government's renewed commitments to postsecondary education

TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2011 /CNW/ - Today's Speech from the Throne confirmed the government's commitment to enhancing the affordability of postsecondary education for students, a commitment welcomed by Ontario universities.

"We strongly support measures that improve access for students and that sufficiently fund the university programs, initiatives and facilities that allow institutions to offer quality programs and remain competitive on the world stage," says Bonnie Patterson, President and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU).

The Ontario government will reimburse students with 30 per cent of the average university tuition, or up to $1,600, for those students with a family income under $160,000. The government has also reaffirmed the addition of 60,000 new spaces at universities and colleges so every willing and qualified student can attend.

"Today's Throne Speech demonstrates the government's commitment to ensuring access for students, who recognize the enormous return on investment of a university education," says Patterson. "This year, more first-year students entered Ontario universities than ever before, continuing a decade-long trend." 

Recently, COU reported that university graduates continue to experience high employment and earnings rates relative to college or high school graduates. Over 91 per cent of 2008 graduates surveyed said they were employed within six months of graduation, almost 94 per cent reported they had a job two years after graduation, and over 83 per cent were employed in their field of study. 2008 was the depth of the recession. Moreover, between 2004 and 2010, employment growth for university graduates outpaced all other education levels: jobs grew by 28 per cent for those with a university degree, 17 per cent for those with a college diploma and only 4 per cent for those with a high school education.

Visit the Council of Ontario Universities website at www.cou.on.ca
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SOURCE Council of Ontario Universities

For further information:

Jennifer Grass
Senior Director, Communications and Public Affairs
T: 416-979-2165 ext. 261
C: 416-707-6787


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