Ontario needs strategy to increase postsecondary success rates

TORONTO, March 30 /CNW/ - Ontario's colleges are anxious to see the provincial government's new long-term strategy to improve success rates at the province's colleges and universities, the college presidents said today.

"The government has made significant investments into new postsecondary spaces," said Tony Tilly, the president of Fleming College and vice-chair of the colleges' committee of presidents. "The province now needs to release a long-term strategy to help ensure that greater numbers of people can successfully complete their college and university educations."

Since 2005, colleges and universities have been operating under the provincial government's Reaching Higher plan, which ends tomorrow (March 31).

The government is currently developing a new long-term strategy, which is expected to include measures to increase the postsecondary attainment rate to 70 per cent from the current 62 per cent. It will be important for Ontario to move quickly, as the province will be facing a significant skills shortage after the recession ends.

To support the government's plans, the college presidents provided a submission last year, called A New Vision of Higher Education in Ontario, which included a number of recommendations to transform the delivery of higher education in this province.

The recommendations included expanding the availability of degree programs at colleges, developing a provincewide system for the transfer of completed postsecondary credits, improving the opportunities for online learning, and reforming apprenticeship.

College presidents discussed the expected long-term strategy for higher education during a meeting of the 24 presidents today in Toronto. Tilly said the government's commitment to produce more college and university graduates is important, as higher education is becoming essential for greater numbers of people looking to succeed in the new economy.

"Ontario must move quickly to announce a new long-term strategy and begin implementing it," Tilly said. "We need to do everything we can to help greater numbers of people get the higher education they need to achieve success."

SOURCE Colleges Ontario

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

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