TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2012 /CNW/ - The province's Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services has produced a report that reaffirms the importance of focusing on higher education and student success, Ontario colleges said today.
"This is a far-reaching and comprehensive report that balances the province's financial challenges and its strategic priorities," said Dr. Tony Tilly, the chair of Colleges Ontario and president of Fleming College. "It will be important for the Ontario government to achieve the same balance in its response to the report."
The commission, led by economist Don Drummond, produced a report that reaffirms the importance of improving postsecondary attainment rates in the province. The recommendation to increase postsecondary funding by 1.5 per cent each year is also consistent with that goal.
The report also acknowledges that colleges play an important role in delivering quality postsecondary education in all regions of the province, despite the funding pressures colleges have faced.
Ontario's colleges welcome the recommendation to have colleges and universities develop articulation mandates with the province.
The colleges also support the call for a strengthened system to help college and university students transfer credits when they move to another institution. Ontario's colleges encourage the provincial government to act on that recommendation.
Colleges believe there should be a new vision for postsecondary education that ensures students have improved access to opportunities. College degree programs play a key part in providing that access. Colleges want to work with the province in shaping a new vision for higher education.
The colleges are concerned with the recommendation on college degrees. Colleges deliver a wide range of important programs to help students find meaningful careers, including our degree programs. We believe the province needs to conduct a thorough assessment of postsecondary education before it takes any action.
Colleges work collaboratively to achieve efficiencies in a wide range of areas, from energy conservation to the use of a centralized service for processing student applications. The colleges want to work with the province to explore further efficiencies in areas such as apprenticeship and training.
"Ontario's colleges have a record of innovation and fiscal responsibility," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario. "We will respond to the report in greater detail and will work with the government of Ontario on the agenda of enhancing quality and access while increasing efficiencies and, in the next five years, achieving the province's target of eliminating the deficit."
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