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Provincial budget's boost for students applauded by Durham College and UOIT officials

OSHAWA, Ont. - Students, faculty, staff, governors, alumni, and friends of Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) should all celebrate yesterday's budget boost, says president Gary Polonsky, as all helped generate the positive response by adding their voices to efforts to encourage greater financial support.

"This government has done a very honourable thing for the students of our province," said Dr. Gary Polonsky of UOIT and Durham College. "The budget will enable more students to pursue their educational goals, and provide our province with a better-educated workforce to compete in today's increasingly competitive global economy."

This reinvestment in higher education is great news for students at Durham College and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, said Polonsky, who supported public initiatives over recent months to encourage the government to provide enhanced support. Polonsky congratulated Durham and UOIT students, faculty and staff for aiding the awareness initiatives, by signing petitions and conducting letter-writing campaigns.

"Yesterday's budget response indicates a positive answer to those efforts. I am delighted for our current students, and for those whom we will serve in the future."

As president of both institutions based in Oshawa, Polonsky says our knowledge economy compelled today's provincial funding strategy to restore vigor in higher education. The challenges were recently well-documented in former Ontario premier Bob Rae's report, following a thorough review of the province's postsecondary system.

Only half of Ontario's high school students directly proceed to postsecondary education. As the most industrialized province in Canada, Ontario needs to produce a greater number of educated and trained workers to meet the demands of today's rapidly evolving society, said Polonsky. Rae's report was clear: Ontario must do better to compete and succeed internationally; today's budget is a strong step in the right direction.

Student Association president, Thomas Coughlan, also expressed delighted with the budget response for higher education.

"The funding situation in Ontario's colleges and universities has been urgent," said Coughlan, who represents all students studying at the schools in Oshawa and Whitby. "Ontario colleges and universities have been ranked tenth, compared to all 10 Canadian provinces, in funding. This budget news is welcomed by students, as it will help address that situation."

Rae's report, Ontario: A Leader in Learning, stated: "Financial support provided both to the institutions and to students over the last several years simply hasn't been enough…Ontario's postsecondary system is decidedly under-resourced compared to its U.S. and Canadian peers."

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, as well as a Master's degree in Information Technology Security. 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 attracted over 1,800 students since its inception in 2003. 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
Heather Middleton
Communications and Marketing
Ontario Tech University
905.721.3111 ext. 2197