The Ontario PC Party would like to congratulate York, Seneca, and the City of Markham on being given the opportunity to host and build Ontario’s newest postsecondary institution. It is an exciting new venture that will be vital in educating our Province’s growing population.
However, Ontario PC Leader Patrick Brown and PC Training, Colleges and Universities Critic, Garfield Dunlop, were disappointed that Central Ontario was not given the same opportunity. “The need for a university in this region is great, and there were excellent proposals in Simcoe County. Such an institution would have been instrumental in facilitating growth and attracting more people to the area,” Brown said.
“The difficulty for students in Central Ontario to obtain a university degree in the region is worrisome,” added Brown.
Brown noted that of the high school students in Simcoe County who attend university, 88% leave the area to study and that the overall university participation rate in Barrie (at 17%) is significantly lower than the rest of the province – and of Markham (at 40%).
“These statistics make a university in the region a necessity, not a luxury, something the region needs to give young people a greater chance at a postsecondary education,” said Ontario PC Training, Colleges and Universities Critic, Garfield Dunlop.
Markham is within 54km of 10 distinct university campuses – helping to explain its high participation rate. Central Ontario, without that wide array of opportunities, has a much lower rate.
“Ease of access is a primary concern for students when choosing which institution to attend, and the statistics show that the closer a student is to a university, the more likely they are to go,” said Dunlop, “Had one of the two proposed campuses from the region been chosen, this problem would be well on its way to being rectified.”
The Ontario PC Party will continue to advocate for greater access to postsecondary education in Simcoe County.