New Fanshawe programs game for new economy

The Board of Governors at Fanshawe College announced their budget and strategic plan for its fiscal year of 2009/10.

According to a Fanshawe press release the budget features a balanced, well thought out plan that consists of approximately $161 million, of which $800,000 will be geared towards new developing programs.

“New Information Technology (IT) programs are being introduced at Fanshawe College,” said Howard Rundle, President of Fanshawe.

“London's community is big on gaming…lot's of employment opportunities…particularly for our (Fanshawe) students.”

The College expects students to have a successful year despite the Board of Governors having to trim expenses due to a budget shortfall at a meeting on April 23.

The new innovative academic programs will be implemented in response to market needs for future graduates, including:

- 3D Animation and Character Design (graduate certificate)

- Game Development-Advanced Programming (graduate certificate)

- Emergency Management (graduate certificate)

- Food and Nutrition Management (diploma program)

- Fine Art Foundation (college certificate)

Fanshawe is a leading example for Ontario students as enrollment rates rise by five per cent come next academic year.

According to John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, the government pulled through for Ontario post-secondary institutions even in these tough economic times.

Adding it is not only the colleges and universities of Ontario that struggle, but the governments feel pressured when trying to provide funding for post-secondary institutions in the province.

The college recently experienced a short fall of roughly $6.5 million.

Rundle stated when budget talks first began; it was unclear at that point how much funding was going to be provided by the Ontario government.

“We do not know how much government funding will be for sure at this point,” said Rundle.

Adding, if government honours the five-year commitment it will take care of a lot of the shortfalls recently endured by the college.

“In 2005, the McGuinty government introduced its Reaching Higher plan - a $6.2 billion investment in post-secondary education and training… largest government investment in post-secondary education in more than 40 years. Under Reaching Higher, government investment has increased consistently. At Fanshawe, annual operating funding was just over $48.3 million in 2003,” said Annette Phillips, of the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities office.

“This year (fiscal year 2008-09) annual operating funding from the government is $77.6 million. That's an increase of 60 per cent in Fanshawe's annual operating funding since the McGuinty government took office in 2003. Last year, Fanshawe received just over $2 million for capital projects as well.”