By Kevin Ritchie
The provincial government is pouring almost $2 million into Ryerson’s bank account to help support the school’s increased enrolment.
The university will receive $1.88 million of a $16.5 million accessibility fund. Eight other schools that matched or increased their enrolment last year will also receive cash to offset the cost that more students bring.
This year, Ryerson accepted 4,201 first-year undergraduate students, 181 more than in fall 1999.
The fund is part of a provincial effort to help prepare post secondary schools for the looming double cohort, when two classes of students graduate high school at the same time in 2003.
“We’re very, very, very grateful,” said Linda Grayson, Ryerson’s v.p. administration and student affairs.
Grayson said the money will help pay off the school’s annual operating deficit. Last year’s deficit was budgeted at $700,000.
The grant will also compensate for escalating energy costs and allow for upgrades to classrooms and labs, Grayson said.
The money is appreciated, but not a total surprise, Grayson said. Ryerson’s administration was expecting some money from the accessibility fund and had already budgeted for $500,000.
Other “major ticket items” that need more funding are the Ryerson Information Network and computer systems, Grayson said.
The University of Guelph received the largest portion of the fund — $4.56 million. Brock University, Algoma University College, McMaster University, The University of Ottawa, Queen’s University and Wilfrid Laurier University also received funding