Sept. 14, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The student-focused recommendations to provide a better quality and affordable education system for students, while helping them to better meet the needs of the job market, impressed Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Ed Doherty as he received the final report of the Commission on Post-Secondary Education.
"Although these are only recommendations from an independent commission and final decisions haven't been made yet by our government, I am pleased that the report kept the students' interests as its central theme," Doherty said. "I look forward to examining the document in further detail and discussing it with my colleagues. Having said that, I realize that some of the recommendations will cause concern in certain communities, but I ask all the stakeholders to keep an open mind. I believe that most people recognize that, in order for our students to be ready for the challenges of the future and for the province to be competitive, our post-secondary education system must evolve and the status quo is not an option."
The commission announced last January was asked to provide the most comprehensive and transformational review of post-secondary education since the Deutsch Commission launched by Premier Louis Robichaud several decades ago. It was mandated to explore a variety of themes, including accessibility, relevancy, quality, competitiveness, collaboration, and affordability. The review was to be student-focused and to examine the entire sector including universities, community colleges, private institutions, adult learning, online institutions and apprenticeships.
"There are several recommendations that touch a broad number of issues in our post-secondary education system," Doherty said. "That is why our government will take the necessary time to reflect upon the Commission's work and will provide a comprehensive response once the document has been thoroughly discussed and the final decisions have been made."
Rick Miner and Jacques L'Écuyer co-chaired the commission. They held several public consultations and gathered input from submitted briefings, e-mails and letters.
"I want to take this opportunity to thank the two commissioners, for their hard work and dedication on this broad-ranging topic," the minister said. "As well, I want to thank the supporting staff, the members of the advisory panel and the many individuals, groups, organizations and institutions that made presentations to the commission."
The minister added that this was another fulfilled commitment under the Charter for Change in order to help make new Brunswick the best education system in the country. He also said it was important to listen to all the stakeholders and now it is equally important to respond effectively as the future of post-secondary education in New Brunswick is too important to the future of the province.
"We have a variety of challenges and there is no doubt that a well-educated, trained workforce is a vital part of achieving our goal of self-sufficiency in New Brunswick by 2026," Doherty said.
"Launching this commission last January was an important step in this journey. I am looking forward to working with New Brunswickers and with the stakeholders in our post-secondary education system to make new inroads on our path to self-sufficiency."
MEDIA CONTACT: Shawn Hearn, communications, Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, 506-453-2568.