Colleges applaud postsecondary investments

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - Colleges Ontario, which represents the province's 24 public colleges, applauds the provincial government's commitments and investments in postsecondary education in today's provincial budget.

"This budget recognizes and responds to much of what colleges need to meet the increasing demand for a career-focused college education," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario.

"Postsecondary education is critical to the future success of Ontario's workforce and economic competitiveness in the new knowledge economy."

Franklin also applauded the government's goal of raising Ontario's postsecondary attainment rate to 70 per cent from 62 per cent, noting the additional funding announced today demonstrates a real commitment to this goal.

Funding announcements affecting colleges include:

    -  $310 million operating for new spaces and enrolment across the
       postsecondary system
    -  30,000 new spaces for Second Career

Franklin noted that colleges could be instrumental in providing the necessary training for new project-based skills training program in the north. The government has allocated $45 million for this training.

As well, Franklin noted that additional resources have been promised to support the implementation of a credit transfer system and looks forward to working the government to accomplish this.

"Providing students with a transparent, province-wide system of transferring credits between postsecondary institutions will save money, time and will get skilled graduates into the workforce faster. It will also increase Ontario's international competitiveness."

Franklin also said the colleges look forward to working with the government to develop an aggressive strategy to attract international students to our institutions. As well, she noted the many opportunities provided by the Ontario Online Institute and looks forward to working with the government to capitalize on these.

Colleges Ontario represents and advocates for the province's 24 public colleges. More than 300,000 part-time and 200,000 full-time students attend these colleges, with campuses in more than 200 communities across the province.

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

For further information: For further information: Sally Ritchie, Sr. Communications Officer, Colleges Ontario, (416) 596-0744 ext. 242, (416) 471-2194 (Cell)

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