Criticism of Institute a

I appreciate the opportunity for The Institute for Computer Studies to be the subject of an article that appeared in August 10 issue of Computer World Canada Magazine (“Institute guarantees educational satisfaction,” page 1). However, I was extremely disappointed when the article went on to highlight the personal, misguided and misinformed opinions of one, Brian Westbrook of Manitoba.

I was in complete disbelief at this gentleman’s malicious comments that repeatedly questioned the calibre of the Institute, in particular its course structure, cost and choice of instructors. Contrary to his final quote about only needing a Grade 12 education to get be accepted, the great majority of students at The Institute have at least a degree. Others have years of extensive experience working in the field of IT before entering our program.

I assure you, it is not the nature of Mr. Westbrook’s comments that are upsetting, as we can accept controversy when and if deserved. It was the fact that this person was quoted as an “expert.” Not only does Mr. Westbrook have limited knowledge on the educational requirements and procedures in Canada’s high tech sector, but he is from Manitoba, where we do not even operate a campus. I ask you, how can a person so far removed from our facilities, the operation of our programs or the selection process of our instructors, be considered an opinion leader on the subject?

On behalf of The Institute for Computer Studies, we would appreciate a chance to defend our reputation that we have worked hard at building over the last 20 years. We have graduated over 6,000 IT professionals, operate five campuses across Canada and were recognized by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s top private vocational schools. We also have the second lowest student loan default rate in Ontario according to the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities, second only to the University of Waterloo.

We were also recently honoured with the Minister of HRDC, Hon. Jane Stewart, at our spring graduation ceremony where she was presented with the Institute’s first honorary e-commerce diploma. In addition, we have been featured in bi-weekly interviews on CP24 for the last year as Toronto’s technology education experts. [The comments in the article were] a needless attack on our school’s reputation.


Lorenzo Santini

The Institute for Computer Studies, Toronto