By Frank Boateng
Ontario colleges have taken a step up on their post secondary counterparts as a new study shows a rise in student enrolment.
The number of first year students enrolled throughout publicly funded colleges in Ontario rose by five percent this past year, the largest surge in ten years.
Linda Franklin, President of Colleges Ontario, told Humber News there are a couple of reasons for the rise.
“The most important thing that this tells us, is that more and more students understand that the whole role of the college system is to provide the right education for students to get good jobs,” said Franklin.
“It’s very encouraging that in a very challenged economy where the youth unemployment rate is still to high, that lots of people are now turning to college and understanding that there may be a way forward there that ends in a good job.”
Humber College first year General Arts and Science student, Boaz Frimpong, 19, said there were numerous reasons he chose college rather than university, but the leading one was to make his mother proud.
“My mom wants me to do something,” said Frimpong. “She wants me to have a career. I could have chosen university, but I wasn’t happy with my marks and the financial burden would be too much.
“I also wanted the practical learning now as to four years of readings.”
There are approximately 125,000 students enrolled in their first year of college, and as the college number rose, university enrolment had a slight drop from 92,554 to 89, 272 applications this year, the report said.
Franklin said the change in demographics has a large influence on the five percent increase in enrolment.
“It’s hard to know what those numbers mean but we’ve known for quite awhile, that overtime, the demographics are shifting,” said Franklin. “We draw students, not just from high school, but from folks back in the workforce.”