Brock’s student media had a rare chance to chat one-on-one with a provincial cabinet minister when John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, stopped by the St. Catharines campus on Aug. 24.
Milloy visited Brock on a province-wide tour of colleges and universities. His goal is to address students face-to-face about the state of post-secondary education, he said.
“My tour across the province has been aimed very much at speaking to students,” he told the gathered media, which included BrockTV, the Brock Press and the campus radio station, CFBU. Daud Grewal, vice-president of university affairs with the Brock University Students’ Union, also attended.
Milloy outlined some strides his government has made in improving post-secondary education. Among them:
- 200,000 more students attending colleges and universities or learning a trade since 2002
- 187,000 students benefiting from changes made to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) in the last year
- the Student Access Guarantee, which is a promise to every student in Ontario that they will not be prevented from going to college or university because of a lack of financial assistance
The scrum took place in view of the construction of the Niagara Health and Bioscience Research Complex, part of 1,810 new spaces created in the Niagara Region.
“What a wonderful place to have a round table, to look out and see what’s happening here,” Milloy said.
He stressed that the future economy will require Ontarians to be educated in order to be competitive. Seventy per cent of future jobs, he said, will require some level of post-secondary education.
The student media quizzed Milloy on OSAP, new technologies in teaching, and the ability of students to get jobs after graduation. They also asked about the importance of colleges and universities in smaller areas like Niagara.
“Brock is very much tied to the needs of the community,” Milloy said. “It’s that role of institutions as economic drivers that we want to continue.”
Mike Gillespie, executive director of BrockTV, said his staff appreciated the ability to do an on-camera interview with Milloy.
“I told Sandor (Ligetfalvy, BrockTV correspondent) that by getting to sit down to talk one-on-one with the minister, he has an opportunity thousands of Ontario students would claw at,” he said.