By: Kaley James
Premier Kathleen Wynne is spending this week visiting post-secondary campuses and Jane Burke, one of Humber’s own journalism postgraduate students, had the opportunity to sit down and have an interview with her.
Wynne worked at Humber from 1983-1984, where she taught a language upgrade course, and since being here last she recognized the enormous difference on campus. She was impressed by the Usability lab and the advancements being made there and noted that there’s “a lot going on at Humber, clearly.”
This year Ontario Community Colleges are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Former Premier and Minister of Education, William Davis, had a vision that community colleges would link education with the labour market and workforce. Wynne says “Humber is a great example of that” and the work being done here is about preparing young people for the working world.
Wynne mentioned a frequent question that is asked of her is about affordability of education however, one thing students should be aware of is the change to student assistance. Starting September 2017,150 000 students who are from families of $50 000/year or less will now have the opportunity to receive free tuition. She said students who cannot afford tuition are a priority. Depending on what your qualifications are, and an assessment from OSAP, some students will have to contribute to their education.
“This plan is something that has been evolving for some time,” says Wynne. Student grants had almost been completely omitted but she said they have been trying to increase accessibility throughout their term. The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) and the College Students Alliance (CSA) have been instrumental to the change in this student assistance and Wynne expressed her gratitude and excitement that they have gotten to this point.
The inauguration of the current President of the United States has disheartened students, and Wynne was asked if she was worried if there may be a lapse in social progress. “We have made assumptions about how much progress we have made, assumed that the work was all done.” She brought up that it’s her responsibility and that of others to continue to voice their values and not accept that it’s inevitable that we are going to fall back.
For the full interview: