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New bursary program creates opportunities for students, says Durham College and UOIT President Dr. Gary Polonsky

OSHAWA, Ont. - Ontario's efforts to produce a highly skilled and trained workforce were bolstered yesterday by the McGuinty government's new bursary program for students, said Dr. Gary Polonsky, president of Durham College, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). 

"This is a significant announcement for the province's colleges and universities, and their students," added Dr. Polonsky. "It will help Ontario to deliver career-focused education and training to more students."

Chris Bentley, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced Wednesday the creation of a new trust will make up to $50 million available every year for student bursary assistance and expand the fundraising capacity at colleges and universities.

Bentley said the government will make $50 million available every year to match private and corporate cash donations towards endowment funds. The income generated by the endowment funds will be used to support students who need assistance.

The funding is expected to make an additional $5 million available each year in bursary assistance, increasing the number of bursaries by 2,700 each year.

Bentley announced that there would be enhanced funding for colleges and universities that have endowments of less than $1,000 per student under the government's former Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund. He said those institutions would receive three-to-one dollar matching from the government for every dollar raised above their historic average, for up to either three years or until the institution reaches the $1,000-per-student threshold.

"This announcement is welcome news for students who face financial barriers to post-secondary education. The enhanced bursary program will provide greater opportunities for students to receive high quality education to become the leaders of tomorrow," said Thomas Coughlan, president of the Durham College and UOIT Student Association.

"The announcement also reaffirms the Ontario government's commitment to post-secondary education and training," added Dr. Polonsky. "This support is crucial as Ontario strives to produce highly educated and highly skilled graduates for today's knowledge economy."



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. As Ontario's first laptop-based university, UOIT offers career-focused undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business and information technology, sciences, engineering, nursing, social science, and education. The university is committed to research excellence and has attracted significant research grants and awards including a Tier 1 Research Chair in Aquatic Toxicology. Sharing facilities and selected services with Durham College, UOIT has attracted over 3,000 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

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Ontario Tech University
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