Skip to main content

Rae Report provides straight talk on Ontario post-secondary

OSHAWA, Ont. - Durham College and UOIT president, Gary Polonsky welcomed the recommendations released February 7 by the Postsecondary Review, led by former Premier Bob Rae. The Review Report entitled "Ontario - A Leader in Learning" outlines 28 actions designed to address three specific goals for reform: great education, improved opportunities for more people, and a secure future for higher education.

"The Review has come up with a comprehensive strategy that will make a significant improvement to higher education in Ontario," Polonsky noted. "I hope we will see movement on all fronts. Rae begins the Report with the words: 'All of the reforms I suggest here are connected to one another. We won't get where we need to go by piecemeal tinkering.' "

The Report recommends an investment of at least $1.3 billion in new provincial base funding to institutions by 2007-08, an amount that will make Ontario comparable to other provinces. The report also highlights the need to improve student assistance, especially for students facing financial barriers. Advances are recommended in the expansion and support of graduate education, research and innovation. An overarching theme is the need to provide a consistent framework that will both require and support longer-term planning, quality assurance, and sustainability across the post-secondary environment.

UOIT and Durham College will be paying particular attention to the actions in the Report having to do with collaboration.

"We are an integrated campus," Polonsky points out. "The specific mandate of UOIT enshrined in our founding legislation is to help students navigate among their options, including joint programs and degree completion."

The focus on the full range of higher education options is also of considerable interest.

"Given our college strength in skilled trades programs, it is heartening to see the Report recommend that Ontario's definition of post-secondary education should explicitly include apprenticeship."

The Report encourages the province to engage the federal government on issues such as basic funding transfers, and co-ordinating student aid. At the same time, the role of local governments is singled out as Rae acknowledges the advocacy of mayors and councillors for their area universities and colleges.

"I am proud to say the support of our community has been overwhelming since day one," Polonsky said. "It is really gratifying to see the Report recognize the connection between post-secondary institutions and the progress and prosperity of the region."

"Above all," Polonsky concludes, "the message of the Report is that we are all implicated in the recommendations. We cannot be complacent, and we have to be involved in setting our sights higher, and making positive change. The Report puts it best in the opening pages: Reform and investment will send a signal to Ontarians that higher education deserves to be taken seriously by everyone."


About the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
As the province's newest university, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology provides a unique combination of academic knowledge, vibrant student life, leading-edge research, and hands-on skills. The university offers career-focused undergraduate degree programs in the fields of business and information technology, sciences, engineering, nursing, social science, and education. It is also developing leading-edge research and graduate programs, and is Ontario's first laptop-based university. Sharing facilities and selected services with Durham College, UOIT has over 1,800 students following 17 months of operation. To find out more, visit or call 905.721.8668.

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
Tania Henvey
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.3111 ext. 2513