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Provincial gov't shows us the money!

Diana Forbes | Interrobang | News | February 13th, 2006



Last week the province announced an investment of more than $5.5 million to Fanshawe, but according the college that money was worked into their finances last spring.

“Although most welcomed by the College, the funding was not new information,” the college pointed out in a written statement. “[The money] was first announced in last year's provincial budget as part of the McGuinty government's Reaching Higher Plan.”

Chris Bentley, London MPP and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, said the funding would be part of the McGuinty government's “new Quality Improvement Fund,” which focuses on increasing teachers and learning resources.

As a result, Fanshawe has already allocated the funding towards hiring 19 new staff positions, new and upgraded equipment and enhanced student services.

Some of the new services for this academic year have included academic, personal and career counselling, disability services, tutoring and three full-time student success coaches.

“It is currently our goal at Fanshawe to increase student success,” said President of Fanshawe College, Howard Rundle. “With these additional funds, Fanshawe can begin to address improvement in quality, in particular, to help those students with greater needs.”

University of Western Ontario was also handed over $11 million from the province's new fund, which brings the post-secondary funding for the city of London to almost $17 million.

Western's President, Paul Davenport, said the university's funding would go towards hiring faculty and support staff, ensuring small class size and expanding course availability.

“This new funding at Fanshawe and Western is providing students in London with a higher quality education and improvements that they are benefiting from immediately,” Bentley said.

By the end of the 2005/06 academic year, Ontario colleges will receive $87.3 million from the Quality Improvement Fund, while universities in the province will be allotted $124.2 million.

To ensure the money is spent properly, post-secondary institutions are required to sign accountability agreements, which list in detail the planned improvements and expected results.

The 2005 McGuinty budget included a “Reaching Higher Plan,” which will invest $6.2 billion into Ontario's post-secondary system over the next five years. The plan aims to improve quality, accessibility and accountability in Ontario colleges and universities.
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