QUEEN'S PARK, ON, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - Over the next two years, more than
1,000 college and university students will have the opportunity to complete a
portion of their studies abroad thanks to a new McGuinty government
scholarship program being launched today, Chris Bentley, Minister of Training,
Colleges and Universities, announced today.
"Our government is proud to help students who want to expand their experiences by studying abroad," said Bentley. "These new scholarships will help students pay for international studies and help Ontario's competitive edge through the global knowledge they bring back with them."
The new Ontario International Education Opportunity Scholarships will enable 272 students to study abroad this year. Next year, 800 students will have this chance.
The scholarships, valued at $2,500 each, are being supported by a $3 million government investment over the two year period. The scholarships will be awarded based on a combination of financial need and academic merit, with special consideration given to students from under-represented groups - Aboriginal peoples and persons with disabilities - and francophones. Students interested in applying should contact the international and/or financial aid office of their college or university.
"Students, and ultimately Ontario's future prosperity, will benefit from the further expansion of knowledge and skills acquired across the globe," said Tyler Charlebois, director of advocacy for the College Student Alliance. "These scholarships will allow Ontario students to further expand their knowledge and skills while learning about life in different cultures and countries."
The government is also working to enrich the educational experience of all Ontario college and university students by:
Building on existing student exchange agreements with Germany and France as well as developing new agreements with China, India and the United States. -
Facilitating the signing of more than 20 agreements - during Premier McGuinty's recent trade mission to India - between postsecondary institutions in Ontario and India. The agreements include student and faculty exchanges, research collaboration and the creation of joint programs.
Supporting initiatives to increase the number of international students attending postsecondary institutions in Ontario.
As part of the $6.2 billion Reaching Higher plan, the Ontario government is making an investment of $1 million in 2006-07, $3 million in 2007-08, and $5 million in 2008-09 to assist in the internationalization of Ontario's postsecondary education system and ensure the province remains competitive.