Volume 95, Issue 24

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
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The world at war

BOG candidates speak to the masses

Experts say no need for Anthrax paranoia

Techies get university of their own

Kidnappings and flaming tires cap week of crime

News Briefs

Editor's Note

UWO United Way kicks-off

Techies get university of their own

By Uroos Rizvi
Gazette Writer

With the introduction of a new post-secondary institution, the gap between universities and colleges may be slowly diminishing.

The Ontario Institute of Technology will soon become the first post- secondary institution in the province to integrate the theoretical aspect of university and the practical experience of college.

OIT will be opening in Sept. 2003 in Oshawa on the Durham College campus.

"Good high paying jobs require both hands-on experience and a good education," said Peter Constantinou, director of special projects at Durham College. OIT promises to provide the background which the big industrial companies are searching for, he added.

Constantinou explained students are the masterminds behind the joint program, as it was students who felt there was a lack of co-ordination between the universities and colleges.

"The $60 million represents the provinces' contribution toward the start-up capital costs," said Tanya Cholakov, spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

"Students, employers and parents have been asking for post-secondary education with theoretical training and practical grounding and this is a unique university which will give it to them," Cholakov said.

"OIT will provide greater choice and flexibility, which will let students move seamlessly between college and university programs," she added.

Julie Kaufman, manager of skills research at International Data Corporation, said the initiative should be cautious of taking into account only what businesses want.

"The government will have to be careful in training students in particularly unique niche areas where there might not be a demand [for students] in such areas," Kaufman said, adding she believes OIT has an innovative idea which has never been done before in the public sector.

OIT is going to be positioned as a third level of education in the minds of some, she added.

Gloria Leckie, associate dean for the faculty of information and media studies at Western understands the importance of joint programs as they provide a different aspect of education.

"A lot of pressure is on students to choose a career path and, with the joint program, it will give them the disciplinary knowledge and practical experience," Leckie said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001