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Media Release - February 8, 2005

Mohawk President Lauds Rae Review

Mohawk College President MaryLynn West-Moynes today expressed her admiration and appreciation for the fine work completed by The Honourable Bob Rae and the Postsecondary Education Review in Ontario: A Leader in Learning. “The Report offers many excellent solutions to challenges facing Ontario colleges”, affirmed President West-Moynes, “and I am counting on Minister Mary Anne Chambers and Premier Dalton McGuinty to implement as many of the recommendations as possible.”

“Mr. Rae particularly challenges colleges to reach out to the 50% of Ontarians who do not pursue postsecondary education, and enhanced access represents a major priority for Mohawk. I heartily agree, for example, when the Report recommends that apprenticeship be treated as a core business and a postsecondary destination. Given that Mohawk is the currently Ontario’s largest trainer of apprentices, Mr. Rae’s comments are most welcome. Of course, much is dependent upon increased government funding per student to ensure the widest range of options drive social, cultural and economic prosperity.”

“Many Rae Review recommendations resonate with our Mohawk community, including the need for increased transferability for students moving between colleges and universities. We intend to enhance our partnerships with Laurier and McMaster, increasing the pathways for students in a continuum from apprenticeship to full time diploma and graduate certificate programs to degrees, and eventually graduate degrees.”

”Mohawk supports Mr. Rae’s focus on retention and access. Our Vision Like A Hawk: Strategic Plan 2004 –2007 emphasizes our commitment to being a champion of students and our dedication to academic excellence and innovation. The Rae Report focuses on enhancing retention so that those who start graduate successfully, and articulates that Ontario society now reflects both a learning and training culture. Mr. Rae’s emphasis on access is to be commended, access for Aboriginal peoples, Canadians who constitute the first generation in their family to go forward for postsecondary education, Canadians with disabilities, and those with financial challenges. Mohawk works closely with Six Nations Polytechnic to deliver programs for First Nations students, and disburses over $3 million annually in financial assistance, but more must be done. Mr. Rae provocatively challenges colleges and universities to be more collaborative, but simultaneously challenges the federal and provincial governments to develop more cohesive policies towards bursaries for students and funding for research.”

“Mohawk currently faces significant investment challenges with regards to our need to build capacity to welcome students, and to attend to deferred infrastructure maintenance, hence we look forward to working with colleague university and college institutions to persuade the Government of Ontario to provide adequate funding after what Mr. Rae calls ‘benign neglect’. Ontario: Leaders in Learning holds much promise. It is now incumbent upon our Government of Ontario to fulfill that promise.”