TORONTO, Dec. 6 /CNW/ - Enrolment at Ontario's colleges continued its strong upward trend this year with a 5.9 per cent increase over last year, according to figures released today by Colleges Ontario.
Final fall enrolment figures show more than 210,000 full-time students enrolled in Ontario college programs this school year, up from about 198,000 students last year. These are the audited numbers for fall enrolment 2010, which were finalized in November.
"Students continue to recognize the tremendous value of the career-oriented education and training provided at Ontario's public colleges," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "Business and industry are demanding innovative, technically skilled workers and colleges are listening. So students know they will be graduating to good jobs."
College enrolment has grown 25.6 per cent in the past four years. Last year's total was a 13.2 per cent increase over 2008's enrolment of 175,204. And that represented a 4.8 per cent increase over 2007's total enrolment of 167,170.
The numbers also show a significant increase in international students attending college.
While there is no scholarship program for international students who attend college, there was a 47.8 per cent increase in international students attending Ontario colleges. There were 14,576 full-time international students enrolled this year, up from about 9,861 in fall 2009.
Franklin said students continue to pursue college education and training because it provides them with the theoretical learning and hands-on training that prepares them for careers. Even during the recession, 85 per cent of the most recent college graduates in the labour market found work within six months of graduation.
Furthermore, 93 per cent of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the graduates they had hired in the past six months.
Franklin said it is important to ensure more people have access to higher education in the years ahead. In 10 years' time, it is estimated at least 70 per cent of employees will require postsecondary education and training. Currently, about 63 per cent of Ontarians have a postsecondary education.
"We know we are facing a future of people without jobs and jobs without people," Franklin said, referring to a report by former Seneca College president Dr. Rick Miner that predicts that if nothing changes, more than 700,000 people in Ontario will be unemployable by 2021 due to inadequate skills and education. The report also predicts more than one-million jobs will be unfilled because there are not enough skilled people to do them.
"It will be important to ensure resources are in place to produce the educated workforce Ontario will need to strengthen its economy," Franklin said.
For further information: For further information: