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Universities need billions to modernize

Ontario’s universities are lagging behind their American counterparts and need billions in the coming provincial budget to modernize campuses, train more graduate students and lower student-teacher ratios, the president of the Council of Ontario Universities said yesterday.


Ontario’s universities are lagging behind their American counterparts and need billions in the coming provincial budget to modernize campuses, train more graduate students and lower student-teacher ratios, the president of the Council of Ontario Universities said yesterday.


Paul Genest, president of the council, told a legislative pre-budget committee that universities need some $1.6 billion to improve existing labs, libraries and classrooms. University buildings are getting older and coming under increasing pressure from the ballooning number of students, he said.


“This is a problem that has been getting worse over the years,” Genest said. “The government does give $40 million a year to address deferred maintenance but more needs to be done.”


Aging classrooms can’t house the kind of modern technology fuelling today’s cutting-edge research, he added. The province wouldn’t necessarily have to pony up all the cash, but could make a significant commitment to cover at least half the costs with the universities picking up the rest of the tab, Genest said.

 
 
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