September 12, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 9  

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NEWS

Gold-digging colleges

By Chris "Swipey" Sinal
Gazette Writer

In a move expected to shock pundits province-wide, Ontario colleges are asking the provincial government for more money.

A media blitz aimed at all three major political parties in the current provincial election highlighted Ontario colleges' concerns that quality of education may be suffering due to underfunding. "College programming is practical and as a result our need for equipment is intense," said Howard Rundle, president of Fanshawe College.

As per-student funding falls, Rundle said, managing college priorities such as capital costs becomes increasingly difficult.

"Both colleges and universities need to keep up to date," said Rebecca Coulter, New Democratic Party candidate for London North Centre. "We should be doing everything we need to do to support our colleges."

The NDP platform includes an increase in government funding of colleges and universities to national levels, Coulter added.

The Conservative government has increased total transfers to colleges by $110 million, said Dianne Cunningham, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

"As a government, we are directing money into what we really think is important," Cunningham said. "We could be putting more money into the college system," she added.

Peter Askey, with London North Centre Liberal candidate Deb Matthews' campaign, said the Liberal party is committed to making sure there is adequate funding.

"Deb Matthews feels that the Liberals recognize that higher funding has to be provided because there are more students," he said.

Dave Ford, University Students' Council VP-education, said per-capita student funding for colleges and universities in Ontario is one of the lowest in Canada. "It is important that colleges and universities are both funded equally," Ford said. "Colleges play a significant role in stimulating the economy and providing jobs for the province's youth."

 

 

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