Ontario’s new post-secondary education minister sees students’ interests, not degrees, as his priority

Ontario’s newly minted minister of post-secondary education has offered up advice to young students struggling to complete their studies.

“The whole system is suffering. We need young people who are interested in getting a job,” Gerard O’Brien said during a roundtable discussion on Monday, according to The Globe and Mail.

“There is a lot of talk about education and money, and both are important but these are things we talked about a long time ago,” O’Brien said. “What’s in it for the student? What happens to these young people when they get into the workforce? We need to focus on creating that relationship between the student and what they would like to do in life.”

O’Brien’s comments came as part of the roundtable discussion on post-secondary education that also included Barbara Milliken, the president of Wilfrid Laurier University, and Dr. James Young, the dean of the faculty of environmental engineering at the University of Waterloo.

O’Brien was tapped as the minister of post-secondary education at the end of March.

Students in the province have been vocal about their discontent over what they see as an industry that is too focused on producing skills and degrees that put students at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to finding a job.

“If my daughter or my son, who is going to be graduating this year, is in jeopardy because of the decisions that colleges and universities are making, then we need to be talking about it,” Robert Leche, the president of Cambrian College, told CTV last year.

Read the full story at The Globe and Mail.

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