TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - As students across the province return to the classroom, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) has released a report showing that students from low-income neighbourhoods are 13% less likely to attend university.
"More than anything else, this alarming difference in participation between low and high income students underscores the need for the Ontario Government to further develop its strategy for early outreach." said Dan Moulton, President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).
OUSA is optimistic that this report will bring more attention to the need for an investment in community-based programs which reach out to students in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. While the government has provided some funding for pilot projects administered by Pathways to Education, this is far from the coherent strategy called for in the review of higher education by former Premier Bob Rae.
"Closing the application gap between rich and poor communities is one of the only ways to ensure continued growth in post-secondary participation." continued Moulton. "If Ontario truly wants to be a leader in the knowledge economy then early outreach must become a serious priority."
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance has long called on the government to deal seriously with the need for early outreach. This HEQCO report adds a new urgency to this need as the gap between students continues to grow.
OUSA represents the interests of more than 140,000 professional and undergraduate, full- and part-time university students at seven Ontario institutions.
SOURCE Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance
For further information: For further information: or to arrange an interview please contact: Alvin Tedjo, Director of Communications & Public Relations, OUSA - Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, (O) (416) 341-9948, (F) (416) 341-0358, (C) (647) 669-6885, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dan Moulton, President, OUSA, (519) 788-3223, email@example.com; Alexi White, Executive Director, OUSA, (416) 341-9948, firstname.lastname@example.org