I believe deeply in this outstanding region where we all live and learn. Durham boasts thriving cities, towns and villages, diverse landscapes, and limitless potential and opportunity. Our region is also home to three world-class postsecondary education institutions each offering something unique and special to learners of all ages.
As a long-time Durham resident and employee, and a strong advocate for our growing region, I think it’s important for students across our communities (and their families) to really understand the many benefits of studying close to home, just like I did…a number of years ago at Trent University. Local students have access to a world-class education, right in their own backyard, something worth recognizing and celebrating.
First, consider the financial benefits. A postsecondary degree or diploma is a smart investment. It’s also one that comes with some cost. Living at home while at university or college can mean significant savings. Further savings can be found through scholarships and bursaries. At a university like Trent – which happens to be ranked #1 in Canada for scholarships and bursaries – those are appreciable financial incentives and savings.
Staying home to study also offers many more advantages, in addition to financial savings. At Trent, the #1 undergraduate university in Ontario, students have access to the best professors who care about students and their academic journey; unparalleled real-world learning experiences that prepare graduates for success in any career; a welcoming and supportive community; and numerous opportunities to get involved and make the university experience transformational. I saw this first-hand as a Psychology student at Trent, and now as a proud alumnus, attending events, working with the Board, and through the many opportunities I have had to meet and interact with Trent University students and graduates here in our community.
For students itching for an adventure outside of the Durham region, there are many opportunities for exploration as well, even while staying close to home. Study abroad, exchange programs, summer field courses in a new country, international placements and internships, or volunteer options in every corner of the world – just a few of the examples of how students studying in our region can take their education global, expanding their worldview along the way.
I currently serve on the Board of Directors at Trent University, am a past chair of the Board for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), and the Durham College Board, and have (and continue to) serve on other community organizations in the region. Through these experiences, and many others, I can tell you that Durham offers a welcoming community that local students will learn to appreciate through an entirely new lens.
For the local student, there are so many experiences to be uncovered at Trent, and the other world-class educational institutions in our region. Visit these institutions' websites, tour the campuses, speak with students and alumni – discover your next greatest journey.
Garry Cubitt has worked with the Region of Durham since its formation, becoming chief administrative officer (CAO) in 1993. For more than 46 years he has served the public sector, beginning his career as a social worker after he completed his undergraduate degree at Trent University and his postgraduate at the University of Toronto. He currently serves on the Board of Governors at Trent.
This story ran in Durham Region on January 17.