Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Ontario Colleges and Universities React to 2011 Provincial Budget

2011 Ontario Budget

Campuses have spoken, and the reviews are in for the new provincial budget. So far, so good.

Tuesday’s provincial budget was of particular interest to Ontario’s colleges and universities, as it promised more money for education and research at Canada’s post-secondary schools.

The budget promises:

  • $44 million for colleges over three years for literacy and basic skills
  • $20 million in instructional equipment for 2011-12
  • $64 million in 2011-12, rising to $309 million in 2013-14 for operating grants for an additional 60,000 postsecondary places by 2015-16
  • $22.5 million this year for the Summer Jobs Strategy

George Brown College’s president Anne Sado commended the funding, saying that, “At George Brown College alone we are currently turning away thousands of qualified students each year because we simply don’t have the space for them.

“Only by expanding to enroll, educate and graduate greater numbers of students can we meet the very real skills gap that threatens to constrain the province’s economic future.”

Seneca College’s President David Agnew also welcomed the investment in education.

“This budget brings a multi-year commitment to help the post-secondary sector in Ontario meet the needs of our economy,” said Agnew.

“This commitment speaks to the demand for highly-skilled, career-ready college graduates who play a vital role in the province’s economic prosperity.”

The budget is also a hit on Humber College’s campus, with president John Davies saying, “This budget has put the needs of students in the forefront and will help our commitment to produce a strong and skilled workforce for the future of Ontario.”

Off campus, The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) also applauded the budget.

“We appreciate the continued commitment to higher education,” said Sheldon Levy, COU Chair and President of Ryerson University.

“Current and future students represent a powerful force in shaping our province’s future and Ontario university presidents are proud to contribute to this force through the provision of high quality university education.”

The results were not unanimous, however. The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario were very critical of the budget for doing nothing to address tuition costs.

“It is disappointing that the McGuinty government has prioritized future student spaces at the expense of drastically increasing tuition fees, which has lead to record-high levels of student debt” said Sandy Hudson, Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario.

Schools mentioned: Ryerson University, George Brown College, Seneca College, Humber College.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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  1. Grahame Rivers Says:

    global recession was hard on economies around the world. Ontario worked with people when others would
    have cut them loose. The economy is back on track. Ontario jobs are coming back and growth is
    returning. See the progress report here:

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