President Marsden welcomes Ontario budget

Good news for York U. and Ontario universities

Lorna R. Marsden, president and vice-chancellor of York University, enthusiastically welcomed Thursday’s Ontario Budget, which contained important initiatives to help improve access to Ontario universities and the quality of  education they provide.

Marsden said on Friday: “For years, York and the other Ontario universities have been working with the Government to ensure that students of the double cohort will be accommodated. We are pleased that yesterday the government continued its commitment to fully fund all additional students admitted due to the double cohort. This means that at York we can continue providing more and more students over the next few years with a high quality educational experience.”

The new Quality Assurance fund, which will invest into universities $75 million in 2003-04 and rise every year to $200 million by 2006-07, will allow York to improve the quality of education York students receive.

Marsden was pleased that the government is committing to funding two programs that will be of direct benefit to many students. $400 million has been committed to fund phase two of the Student Opportunity Trust Fund which improves access to university for students in financial need. An additional $14 million annually was committed to the innovative Learning Opportunities Task Force, whose programs to help postsecondary students with learning disabilities have been a great success at York.

Marsden welcomed the creation of the $1billion Cancer Research Institute of Ontario, a program in which York University researchers expect to participate.

The budget also announced additional SuperBuild funding to create an additional 20,000 postsecondary places in Ontario. Marsden expressed hope that York’s proposal, which would expand and improve York’s academic facilities, will receive a favourable response in the near future to allow York to continue serving the expanding demand from GTA students.

“These budget initiatives are forward thinking and will be a boon to the quality of education our students receive for many years,” Marsden concluded.