Surrounded by students, legislators, business leaders, and presidents of public and private colleges and universities statewide, Governor Bob McDonnell today announced his proposed new higher education funding package which includes $100 million per year to prepare Virginians for top jobs, boost job-creating research and innovation, make college degrees more affordable for students, and advance toward the governor’s goal of having 100,000 more Virginians earn degrees in the next 15 years.
“This is the next step in our own two-year initiative to reform, restructure and reinvest in higher education. It is our responsibility to ensure that the opportunity to earn a college degree is there for every Virginia student who is prepared to take that step,” Governor McDonnell said. “This is about their future as individuals, and our future as a Commonwealth. In this competitive global economy, the more Virginia students who attend our colleges and universities and emerge with the skills and training necessary to compete for the best jobs in the 21st century, the stronger our state will be in the years ahead. It will make Virginia an even greater jobs magnet with a highly skilled workforce. It will bring more world-class companies to our state. It will lead to more innovation, job creation and growth. Ensuring that higher education is well-funded and that the funding is wisely allocated and efficiently used is a critical part of growing our economy. This is a core function of government and our budget will make higher education a funding priority. Forward-looking leaders in education, business and government must work together to provide the financial support necessary to enhance quality, affordability and access to higher education, and we must particularly invest in the high-demand subject areas like science, technology, engineering, mathematics and healthcare that will supply the great jobs and great careers of the 21st century.