Applications increasing to Ontario colleges

    TORONTO, Jan. 24 /CNW/ - First-year enrolment at Ontario's 24 colleges is
on track for a significant increase in 2008, according to preliminary figures
released today by Colleges Ontario.
    As of Jan. 21, the Ontario College Application Service had received
54,429 applications for the fall 2008 term, a four per cent increase over this
time last year.
    "Postsecondary education is becoming a necessity for people who want to
succeed in today's economy," said Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of
Colleges Ontario. "The increase in applications confirms that greater numbers
of people recognize the importance of college education and training."
    In 2007, first-year enrolment to colleges increased by six per cent over
the previous year.
    Franklin said almost 60 per cent of first-year postsecondary students in
Ontario attend college, compared with just over 40 per cent who enter
university. Franklin said colleges will continue to work with the McGuinty
government to provide access to higher education to greater numbers of people.
    "Since the government introduced its Reaching Higher plan in 2005, it has
been clear that postsecondary education is a priority in Ontario," Franklin
said. "We will continue to work with government to produce the skilled
workforce that is essential to our long-term prosperity."
    While the application increase is a positive sign, Franklin said Ontario
will need to see even larger numbers of people enrolling in colleges in the
years ahead.
    "The coming wave of retiring baby boomers and slowing population growth
means Ontario faces a skills shortage of more than 360,000 people by 2025,"
Franklin said. "College graduates will play an essential part in addressing
this challenge."

For further information:

For further information: Darrell Neufeld, Senior Communications Officer,
(416) 596-0744, ext. 242,

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