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Toronto Star, May 30, 2011: Province to decide on satellite campuses for colleges, universities



Wilfrid Laurier University’s clarifications and corrections website is an opportunity for Laurier to provide comments and necessary corrections to information written and published about the university by other sources.

The left-hand column of the site contains excerpts from stories published about Laurier using the exact wording from the original source. Items bolded in the left-hand column text are directly addressed in the right-hand clarifications and corrections column.

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 Original Story

Province to decide on satellite campuses for colleges, universities

The Ontario government will no longer let colleges and universities decide where to set up satellite campuses - as many small and remote schools have done to gain a foothold in the populous GTA. From now on, Queen's Park alone will determine if, and where, there will be new spinoff sites.

The change is a bid to avoid uneven clusters of higher learning in parts of Ontario that leave other corners starved for post-secondary programs, MPP John Milloy, Ontario's minister of training, colleges and universities, said in a speech Monday to the Canadian Club.

But it throws into question a new campus Wilfrid Laurier University has been planning for three years with the boom town of Milton. Laurier president Max Blouw said Monday he hopes Ontario will agree Milton needs a university campus so Laurier can bid on the contract. In January, Laurier signed a second memorandum of understanding with the town, which has been dreaming of a 60-hectare "education village" that might include a campus of Sheridan College.

"We really don't know what this new policy means, but it's clear it will involve a bidding process, so we're going to prepare a fabulous bid," Blouw said.

"Laurier has grown more quickly than most universities, but we value the small, intimate model, so we don't want to add on to our Waterloo campus or our Brantford campus," he noted.

A spokesperson for Milloy would say only that the Milton proposal "will be subject to the new process, which means the government determines where satellite campuses need to go."

Until now, universities have tended to negotiate deals with local municipalities to open satellite campuses, and then inform the provincial government, which would then provide funding for each student.

"What if we turned the process around?" asked Milloy. "What if government - with a careful eye on the province's growth plans - identified key areas that might be suitable for satellites?

"And yes, it means that government will have the right to say no to requests because they fail to align with system-wide priorities. But it will give Ontario students the reassurance that our system is evolving in a way that focuses on quality and excellence."

© 2011 Torstar Corporation










Corrections/Clarifications

(see below)























The Toronto Star
erred in quoting Dr. Blouw as saying: 'we don’t want to add on to … our Brantford campus.'  When it was brought to the reporter's attention, The Star corrected the error in its online version of the story and published a correction in the June 1 edition of the newspaper, which reads: "Wilfrid Laurier University wants to start a campus in Milton and keep its Waterloo campus at its current size. It also plans to expand its Brantford campus. A quote in a May 31 article about post-secondary satellite campuses in Ontario incorrectly stated that Laurier does not want to add on to its two Waterloo and Brantford campuses." 

The Hamilton Spectator published the story on June 1 and ran a correction on June 2.

To understand the context, it should be noted that Laurier plans to limit the expansion of its Waterloo campus to help preserve the intimate community environment that is central to the university’s values, culture and success. With regard to the Brantford campus, there continues to be room for growth. With the strategic addition of new facilities, Laurier anticipates that the Brantford campus could grow from its current enrolment of about 2,500 students to more than 5,300 students by 2018-19, while still preserving the close-knit sense of community for which Laurier is known.