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Trent President Welcomes Rae Review Recommendations


Monday, February 7, 2005, Peterborough

The recommendations contained in the Rae Review of Postsecondary Education represent the most substantial changes to the university system in the last decade says Bonnie Patterson, Trent University's President and Vice-Chancellor.

"Mr. Rae and his panel are to be congratulated for completing such a thorough review of the many pressing issues facing Ontario's universities," said President Patterson. "He has mapped a course of action that, if implemented, can raise Ontario's national ranking from last place for funding university education."

The report's recommendations include:

- New legislation to provide a place in a college or university for every qualified student
- $300 million for student assistance including up-front grants for 95,000 low-income students
- More access to loans and new loans for parents to contribute to their children's education
- A request to the federal government to focus its student assistance program on living costs
- A coordinated system with the federal government to allow students to repay their loans at rates tied more directly to their income
- More cooperation and collaboration between colleges and universities
- A responsible funding partnership to ensure sustainable revenues

Mr. Rae recommends substantial new investments of $1.3 billion:

- $700-million for quality improvements
- $180-million for graduate education
- $160-million to expand participation – new enrollment

The report also recommends the creation of an independent body. "We welcome the proposed Council of Higher Education that will assist universities to set targets for enrollment and quality improvements," said President Patterson.

The report calls for additional $540-milion in annual provincial funding by 2007-08 for capital items including $200-million for Facility Renewal, $300-million for New Facilities and $40-million for Equipment.

In his report, Mr. Rae emphasizes that tuition should not increase at all until the student assistance system is reformed and government has made significant new investments. With the new regulatory frameworks proposed, institutions would be responsible for setting tuition rates and would be responsible for supporting low-income students and students in need to cover fees in excess of $6,000 per year.

"It is imperative that the government incorporate these recommendations into its upcoming spring budget in order to address the critically important issues of quality and accessibility," said President Patterson.

She adds, "Fixing financial aid for students, investing in capital and deferred maintenance, and making new investments in graduate studies and research are vital to the university sector and Ontario's future prosperity."

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For more information contact:

Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (7045) 748-1011, ext. 1224

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Last Updated February 15, 2005