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Canada's newest university to meet the demand for market-driven degree programs - province to invest $60 million in Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, Ont. - Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty and Minister for Training, Colleges and Universities Dianne Cunningham joined with President Gary Polonsky, local dignitaries, leaders from Ontario's education community and industry to celebrate the Ontario Institute of Technology (OIT), a new concept for a university that links curriculum directly to the needs of the marketplace.

The Ontario Institute of Technology would be Canada's newest university and the first in Ontario in almost 40 years. It plans to provide students with both academic and hands-on experience that meet the needs of business and industry.

The proposed university will integrate its campus, administration and services with Durham College. This unique relationship is proposed to link college and university curricula that would give students the best of both worlds. The Ontario Institute of Technology plans to offer a number of market-driven programs ranging from advanced manufacturing to nuclear technology and safety.

In the May 2001 Ontario Budget, the province announced $60 million to establish the OIT. The investment, made through Ontario's SuperBuild Corporation will support construction of facilities for up to 6,500 students, furniture, equipment, information technology and a library for degree-level studies.

"The SuperBuild investment will ensure this new innovative institution will be a major partner in the economic development of Durham Region, the province of Ontario and Canada," Flaherty said. "By addressing the shortage of highly skilled knowledge workers and meeting the needs identified by industry across the province, the Ontario Institute of Technology will contribute to Ontario's competitiveness in a significant way."

"OIT is part of our government's plan to ensure that we have the skilled people we need to compete and succeed in the new economy," Cunningham said. "This new approach to post-secondary education will give students greater choice and flexibility in programs tied directly to the changing needs of the marketplace."

"The Ontario Institute of Technology will be founded on Durham College's excellent track record for graduate employment," said Gary Polonsky, Durham College and OIT President. "Some students will continue to want a college diploma and that's great. Others will opt for a degree and that's great. Still other students will want both, and that will now be possible as never before. The Ontario Institute of Technology will graduate the doers, thinkers and leaders for jobs today and tomorrow."

The last time a brand-new, publically funded university was created in Ontario was when Brock University opened in St. Catharines in 1964. The Ontario Institute of Technology is scheduled to open in September 2003.

"Human capital is the one thing that differentiates top companies from their competitors, and this new university would help ensure businesses have the highly skilled and dynamic people they need to excel," said Bob Strickert, vice-president, nuclear support for Pickering and Darlington, Ontario Power Generation

Durham Region is one of the fastest growing regions in Ontario and the largest population centre in the province without easy access to a university degree-granting institution.

About Ontario Tech University
A modern, forwarding-thinking university, Ontario Tech advances the discovery and application of knowledge to accelerate economic growth, regional development and social innovation. We inspire and equip our students and our graduates to make a positive impact in a tech-focused world. For us, it’s not only about developing the next tech breakthrough. Understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology differentiates us as university. Learn more at

Media contact
Catherine Shearer-Kudel
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.3111 ext. 2162