Colleges applaud funding for infrastructure improvements

    TORONTO, May 25 /CNW/ - The announcement today of more than $1 billion in
funding for infrastructure improvements at colleges and universities in
Ontario is an important investment into higher education, said Colleges
Ontario president and CEO Linda Franklin.
    "These investments support the long-term strength of higher education
throughout the province and are targeted to building a stronger economic
future," Franklin said. "This funding will help colleges to begin construction
on projects that will create new jobs this summer while at the same time
creating new spaces to support students pursuing postsecondary education."
    Industry Minister Tony Clement and Ontario Training, Colleges and
Universities Minister John Milloy announced the first round of infrastructure
investments today. The governments are investing more than $1 billion in new
funding for 28 projects at postsecondary institutions throughout Ontario.
    The investment totals more than $1.476 billion over two years, including
$587 million in federal funding, $641.2 million in provincial funding and
$248.1 million from other sources, including the colleges and universities.
    The colleges are increasingly in need of new spaces. The recession has
increased the numbers of students applying to colleges. This year, there was a
10 per cent increase in the number of applicants for programs that start in
January, nearly double the 5.1 per cent increase in January 2008.
    "Ninety per cent of college graduates get jobs within six months of
graduation, and our graduates play an essential part in strengthening all
sectors of our economy," Franklin said. "There will be an even greater demand
for college graduates in the years ahead.
    "The funding announced today will help colleges to produce greater
numbers of graduates with the skills and problem-solving abilities that are
essential to the province's economic success."

For further information:

For further information: Sally Ritchie, Senior Communications Officer,
Colleges Ontario, (416) 596-0744, ext. 242

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