Record size first-year class at Ontario Colleges

First-year enrolment at Ontario’s 24 public colleges increased 5.6 per cent this September compared to overall enrolment at the beginning of the 2007 academic year.

The total number of first-year students at Ontario’s colleges is now 95,805.

“Students clearly recognize the tremendous value of the education and training provided at Ontario’s public colleges,” said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario in a news release. “Our business and industry leaders are urgently calling for innovative, technically skilled workers and today’s students are listening: they want to graduate to good jobs.”

Many students are attracted to the college system by the promise of employment following graduation, especially in the skills trades. The Conference Board of Canada is predicting Ontario will face a shortage of 360,000 skilled workers by 2025.

Colleges Ontario is expressing concern about government funding to match the increased enrolment. Ontario’s colleges receive the lowest amount of per-student funding in the country and less per-student that Ontario’s universities and high schools.