Feb. 9, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Legislation to establish autonomous English and French community college corporations was introduced in the legislative assembly today.
"For more than 20 years, previous governments were content to quietly talk about doing this without taking any concrete action," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who introduced the New Brunswick Community Colleges Act.
"Today, we can say 'mission accomplished,' " said Arseneault. "Since the community college corporations will be autonomous, they will be more focused on students, and their programs will be more centred on the labour market. I am confident that, as autonomous institutions, our community college corporations will contribute greatly as we continue to build the best post-secondary education system in Canada."
Each community college corporation will be headed by a board of governors. Each community college corporation will have a president / chief executive officer selected by its respective board.
The head office of the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) will be in Fredericton, while the head office of the Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) will be in Bathurst. They will each have a network of campuses:
Arseneault said the community college corporations will be more innovative, accessible, relevant and transparent, adding that they will be in a better position to establish partnerships for programs and research with other post-secondary institutions, the private sector, and professional associations. The community college corporations will be eligible for funding sources currently not open to them. Federal funding, for instance, is not always available to government bodies as they are to community colleges and other educational institutions.
Arseneault said the community college corporations will be able to take advantage quickly of opportunities and to adapt to changes in the labour market. The community college corporations will develop more applied, technical, and vocational programs to prepare students for jobs in demand.
He said the community college corporations will need to be more accountable to their clientele, namely the students, companies and taxpayers of New Brunswick.
This initiative is part of the provincial government's investment to modernize the community college system: $120 million in capital projects over two years.
Since 2006, nearly 1,000 seats have been added to the overall post-secondary education network, not counting the 1,500 extra seats that will soon be available. This makes a total of 2,500 seats, which Arseneault said will create better learning opportunities for New Brunswickers and help the government attain its self-sufficiency objective by 2026.
The transformation of the community college system was one of the priority action items outlined in Be Inspired. Be Ready. Be Better. The Action Plan to Transform Post-Secondary Education in New Brunswick. This document, in return, reflected commitments made in 2006 by the government in the Charter for Change to transform New Brunswick into a leader post-secondary education and training.
MEDIA CONTACT: Thomas Lizotte, communications, Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-8617.