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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

New report shows changing perspective of first-year college and university students

Oshawa, Ont. - Canadian students entering college or university this fall are distinguishing themselves as a highly admirable group, according to a new report released today by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The report, entitled First InSight, looks at the attitudes and behaviours of today's first-year students and is aimed at helping faculty understand what makes this new generation of students tick.

Most notably these students are an altruistic bunch - 58 per cent of these youth have made direct financial donations to charities and 37 per cent volunteer their time at charities.1 In fact, they have the highest rate of volunteerism of any age group in Canada.2

"We're introducing First InSight to give college and university faculty some real insight into the changing perspective of first-year students," explains Sharon Loverock, PhD, senior research officer for the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College. "This report will help bridge a 30-year generation gap between faculty and first-year students." The average college or university faculty member is 49 years of age.3

On average, today's college- and university-bound students spend about $500 per month on fast food and clothes.4 More than half of first-year students (55 per cent) have never smoked - and 18 per cent say they smoke daily.5 Additionally, 71 per cent of males and 58 per cent of females say they regularly consume alcohol.6

"One of the greatest ways we can ensure our students' success is by understanding what shapes their opinions and lifestyles," says Gary Polonsky, founding president of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and president of Durham College.

You've come a long way baby…

From the time they were born in 1983 or 1984, some of history's greatest triumphs and tragedies have helped shape these students' perspectives. For example:

They were born at least five years after Wayne Gretzky's rookie year in the NHL.

They have never known a world without HIV and AIDS.

They were a year old when Pierre Elliott Trudeau resigned as Prime Minister.
They were born at least three years after Terry Fox was forced to end his marathon of hope.
They were only a year or two old when the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was enacted.
The oldest of this group was only three years old when the space shuttle Challenger blew a few seconds after takeoff.
They were about six years old when the Berlin Wall came down.

Ali Who?

To those entering college or university, Ali is the name of a movie - not that of a legendary boxer. They don't remember the rumble in the jungle and have never seen him fight. "E.T. phone home" was a phrase heard for the first time in theatres this spring. The original movie was released before they were born. And they have never been afraid of Jaws while at the beach.

Another spoonful of reality TV - please

Reality television shows like The Osbournes have received a lot of fanfare thanks to this new generation of college- and university-bound students. Yet the occasional break from reality - namely in the form of a hero/heroine - makes television shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Smallville popular among these students.

According to the report, the majority of today's first-year students have traded their CDs - how '90s! - for MP3 files loaded with their favourite bands including, Pink, Simple Plan, Sum41, The Stroke, Alien Ant Farm and Moby.

So long chalkboard dust!

Today's college- and university-bound students were the first to reap the benefits of a technologically advanced learning environment. By the time they were just 12 years old, these students were receiving computers from the Ontario government in their classrooms.

What's tried and true and what's brand new

As Canada's newest university, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology will provide a unique combination of academic knowledge, vibrant student life, leading-edge research and hands-on skills. This first-class university will graduate the thinkers, doers and leaders critically needed in the 21st century. The university will offer nine degree programs and will share selected facilities with Durham College. Currently under development in Oshawa, Ontario, the university will welcome its first students in September 2003. For more information visit the Web site at or call 1-866-844-8648.

For 35 years, Durham College has been committed to providing job-focused programs, accomplished professors, quality-driven innovation, student success and superior accountability. More than 5,200 full-time students and 29,000 part-time students are enrolled at Durham College. The college employs 1,000 staff in Durham Region. For more information, visit the Web site at

Go to the First Insight Report.


1, 2. Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, National Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2000.
3. Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Trends, The Canadian University in Profile, 1999.
4. Canadian Securities Administrators,, April 2001.
5. Statistics Canada, Canadian Community Health Survey 2000/01.
6. Statistics Canada, Guide to Health Statistics, Catalogue No. 82M0009XCB.

About Ontario Tech University
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