Enrolment at Ontario colleges jumps seven per cent in 2009

    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - For the third year in a row, Ontario's colleges
have experienced a significant increase in first-year full-time enrolment with
a seven per cent increase in 2009, according to figures released today by
Colleges Ontario.
    This fall, more than 113,000 students are confirmed in first-year
full-time programs at the province's 24 public colleges. This increase follows
a 5.6 per cent increase in enrolment last year and a six per cent increase in
    "This trend points to the growing awareness of the career opportunities
available to college graduates," said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of
Colleges Ontario. "Recent high school graduates, university graduates, and
laid off or underemployed people who are looking for better careers - they're
all pursuing the higher education opportunities available at the colleges."
    Franklin said there is increasing recognition that colleges produce
graduates who are creative thinkers and who are highly trained for their
chosen careers. About 90 per cent of college graduates find work within six
months and 93 per cent of employers are satisfied or very satisfied with the
graduates they have hired.
    College continues to be a popular option for university graduates who are
looking to build on their postsecondary education. Franklin said Ontario needs
to provide more opportunities for students to gain access to both university
and college education.
    "The province needs to support students who are looking to acquire the
best postsecondary education possible, particularly in this new economy,"
Franklin said. "Ontario must develop a transparent system to allow college and
university students to transfer completed postsecondary credits and gain
improved access to higher education."
    There is also a growing demand for college graduates. Even in the current
economic downturn, many professions are seeking qualified employees and this
demand will intensify in the years ahead. In fact, the Conference Board of
Canada estimates Ontario will face a shortage of more than 360,000 skilled
employees by 2025.
    "College graduates are essential to the success of Ontario's economy,"
Franklin said. "It will be important to continue to produce greater numbers of
college graduates in the years ahead."

    Colleges Ontario is the voice of Ontario's 24 colleges of applied arts
and technology. Ontario colleges serve about 200 communities throughout the
province, delivering a wide range of career-focused education and training
programs to more than 200,000 full-time and 300,000 part-time students.

For further information:

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

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