Thursday, October 18, 2007

Saint John Board of Trade encouraged by Minister Doherty's Statement

The Saint John Board of Trade is pleased with the Minister of Post-Secondary Education Ed Doherty’s statement yesterday that there will always be a university in Saint John.

“We are encouraged by this statement from Minister Doherty, and are confident the provincial government will continue to seek out the best model for post-secondary education in Saint John and the province,” said Nathalie Godbout, Chair of the Saint John Board of Trade.

The Board is also encouraged by the province’s plan to bring together university presidents and community college principals to form a working group to develop an integrated governance plan and fast-track the process. This is a necessary step to develop a post-secondary solution which involves a nationally accredited university for greater Saint John and an enhanced community college. “This comprehensive review of Post-Secondary Education in New Brunswick was an important step, and consultation with university presidents and community college principals will simply add to the dialogue and the knowledge base to make informed decisions on this issue,” said Godbout.

“Saint John is experiencing a time of tremendous economic growth, we need an accessible, innovative, quality post-secondary framework to reinforce and retain workforce development right here in our city,” said Godbout.

The Board has publicly supported the need for Saint John to maintain at least two high-quality, accessible institutions with direct provincial funding in a common area offering a full range of degree and diploma programs, while maintaining the UNB brand resulting in a centre of excellence for Saint John. “Education is our future. We feel the province is moving in the right direction by making a commitment to a university in Saint John and calling on stakeholders to accomplish the best possible post-secondary solution for Saint John and the Province.” said Godbout.

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