Colleges, universities to focus on “performance instead of enrolment,” under new Ontario funding model

CORNWALL — This month, the Ontario government signed new funding agreements with public colleges and universities to ensure that programs align with labour market demands. The government says it will “revolutionize” educational institutions by placing emphasis on performance instead of enrolment. 

“Our government believes in making institutions accountable for student success,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “That’s why we are making sure Ontario’s publicly-assisted postsecondary institutions have a clear mandate that is focused on meeting the needs of students and equipping them to succeed in rewarding careers.”

“This move to align postsecondary educational programming with labour market demands will ensure our students are well prepared to secure employment and be successful in their career choices,” said Jim McDonell, MPP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.

“The focus of the Strategic Mandate Agreement3 on institutional strength and community impact is encouragement for Ontario colleges to continue doing what we excel at, which is producing skilled graduates while engaging with community and industry,” says Glenn Vollebregt, President and CEO of St. Lawrence College, located in Kingston, Brockville, and Cornwall, Ontario.

The government will measure performance against a set of 10 criteria, including graduate employment rates in related fields, experiential learning and graduate earnings. The changes are not due to take effect until 2022 so post-secondary education institutions have time to recover from the pandemic. 

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