Ontario Putting Public Colleges and Universities on Stable Footing Now and into the Future
New blue-ribbon panel will support the quality, accessibility and sustainability of the sector
March 02, 2023
Colleges and Universities
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TORONTO — The Ontario government is creating a blue-ribbon panel of experts to provide advice and recommendations for keeping the postsecondary education sector financially stable and focused on providing the best student experience possible.
“Our postsecondary institutions and research institutes are important sources of job creation, skills training, research, innovation and commercialization, making them leading contributors to our overall economic growth,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “By launching a blue-ribbon panel, which will help inform actions Ontario can take to protect and grow our postsecondary education system, learners can continue to get the skills and education they need for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
The blue-ribbon panel will include the following leaders from the business and academic communities:
- Dr. Alan Harrison, chair, blue-ribbon panel
- Eddy Avila, member, blue-ribbon panel
- Cindy Forbes, member, blue-ribbon panel
- Maxim Jean-Louis, member, blue-ribbon panel
- Dr. Robert Luke, member, blue-ribbon panel
- Bonnie Patterson, member, blue-ribbon panel
- Brent Tookenay, member, blue-ribbon panel
- Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes, member, blue-ribbon panel
Over the coming months, the panel will conduct research and consultations with key stakeholders about the actions Ontario can take to improve the financial sustainability of the postsecondary sector, to support colleges and universities in developing a skilled workforce, and to promote economic growth and innovation. Their work will be guided by the following principles:
- Enhancing student experience and access
- Rewarding excellence and financial sustainability
- Improving labour market alignment
- Promoting economic growth and prosperity
- Keeping education affordable for lower and middle-income families
“Laying the groundwork for the financial sustainability of the postsecondary education sector will protect it for current and future students, ensuring they can continue to receive world-class education provided by Ontario’s postsecondary institutions,” added Minister Dunlop.
As part of their scope of work, the blue-ribbon panel will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Colleges and Universities on a long-term tuition-fee policy that considers access to and quality of the learning experience.
For the 2023-24 academic year, the province is continuing a general freeze on tuition fees for all domestic students, while providing colleges and universities the flexibility to increase tuition fees for domestic, out-of-province students by up to five per cent.
- Every $1 invested in postsecondary education generates a positive economic return on investment estimated at $1.36.
- The postsecondary education sector is large and complex with 23 publicly assisted universities, 24 colleges of applied arts and technology, nine Indigenous Institutes, over 500 private career colleges and other private institutions such as faith-based institutions.
- The panel is expected to deliver its recommendations to the Minister of Colleges and Universities by summer 2023.
- Building on Ontario’s historic 10 per cent reduction in tuition in 2019-20, along with tuition freezes over the past three years, the province is continuing a general freeze on tuition for 2023-24 for most Ontario students to keep postsecondary education more affordable for students and their families. The ministry is allowing tuition increases in limited programs for 2023-24.
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