The Blue Chair campaign is a grassroots, student lead campaign that seeks to raise awareness around the need to expand access to higher education as an equalizer of economic prosperity and social vitality.
Many of Ontario’s best and brightest cannot attend university due to financial, cultural, geographical, motivational and informational barriers. Studies predict that within the next 10 years, 70 per cent of jobs will require a post-secondary credential. Ontario’s current participation rate, of 18-24 year old, sits at 40 per cent, with only 33 per cent of students from the lowest income quartile and 28 per cent of Aboriginal students persisting to higher education, directly from high school.
In recognition of these challenges, during the winter semester for a week-long period, campuses across Ontario will be jam-packed with empty blue chairs aimed at creating awareness, raising funds and taking action at reducing barriers to post-secondary education. The empty Blue Chairs symbolize the lost potential for our province when access is restricted.
This campaign provided students and community members with the opportunity to become directly involved in our fundraising event. Our aim is to call attention to the need for increased success, and expanded accessibility, for students who face barriers to higher education.