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Laurier invites province to partner in keeping Ontario a post-secondary leader
University outlines challenges and opportunities in pre-budget submission to MPPs
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Feb 3/10| For Immediate Release
TORONTO – Wilfrid Laurier University is inviting the Government of Ontario to partner with it and other universities in the province to ensure that Ontario’s post-secondary education system retains a position of leadership in North America.
Laurier President Dr. Max Blouw addressed key issues affecting the post-secondary sector during a presentation today to the province’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, which is gathering information for the upcoming provincial budget.
“Laurier is ready to help the province meet its post-secondary education priorities,” Blouw said. “We have the ability to respond quickly, effectively and efficiently.”
In its pre-budget submission, Laurier outlined a number of challenges facing universities across the province. These include:
• The need for strategic, multi-year funding agreements supported by full per-student funding and recognition of the increasing costs of providing better access to quality comprehensive education and research.
• Pension pressures that have the potential to divert operating resources away from teaching and research.
Laurier’s submission also outlined opportunities in which the university can help the government address some of the province’s most significant post-secondary challenges. These include:
• Delivering the superb teaching, research and student experience that fosters leadership in the economic, social and cultural life of Ontario.
• Improving access to traditionally underrepresented students including Aboriginal students, students with disabilities and first-generation students.
• The ability to help accommodate the pressing need for additional enrolment capacity, particularly in and around the GTA, through Laurier’s successful multi-campus approach.
• Laurier’s capacity to accept and teach far more graduate students than is permitted by its current graduate funding allocation.
• Laurier’s willingness to play a constructive role in discussions about the important issue of differentiation among universities in Ontario.
“As Laurier approaches its 100th anniversary in 2011, we will continue to provide quality, comprehensive education, research and student experience for the leaders of tomorrow,” Blouw said. “We are inviting the Ontario government to work with us to make it happen.”
Laurier’s Pre-budget Submission document can be read at: www.wlu.ca/prebudget.
Founded in 1911, Laurier is a comprehensive university focusing on excellence in teaching and research. The current student population is approximately 15,000 full-time equivalent undergraduate and graduate students on campuses in Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener and Toronto. In 2009, following an extensive and collaborative visioning process involving the broader university community, Laurier identified the statement Inspiring Lives of Leadership and Purpose as its institutional proposition for the future. Tellingly, it is a proposition that reflects the experience of Laurier students and faculty past and present, and articulates a commitment to a transformative educational and life experience for generations to come.