Ontario Investing $1.3-Billion in Colleges and Universities

The Ontario government has announced it’s pouring $1.3-billion into the province’s colleges and universities to help stabilize their finances.

That includes funding for sustainability, capital repairs, efficiency initiatives, STEM program costs, research, and mental health supports.

In addition to the new money, the province announced the extension of a freeze on tuition fees, and legislative proposals aimed at enhancing transparency and student well-being.

Minister of Colleges and Universities, Jill Dunlop, emphasized the importance of keeping educational costs manageable for Ontario’s families. “Instead of burdening hard-working families with higher tuition, we’re making historic investments to stabilize colleges and universities,” she stated.

Spending highlights include $10 million in additional one-time funding through the Small, Northern and Rural Grant for colleges and Northern Ontario Grant for Universities in 2024-25. This funding will support financially vulnerable institutions while the government works with them on efficiency initiatives.

$23 million will enhance mental health supports, including $8 million for the Postsecondary Mental Health Action Plan over three years.

The tuition freeze for publicly assisted colleges and universities will be in place for at least three more years. However, institutions will have the discretion to increase tuition by up to five per cent for out-of-province domestic students.

The province is also introducing the Strengthening Accountability and Student Supports Act, 2024, which aims to enhance transparency regarding ancillary fees, textbook costs, mental health services, and efforts to combat racism and hate on campuses.

As well, Ontario plans to allow colleges to offer applied master’s degrees in high-demand fields and will launch a career portal to help students make informed decisions about their education and future career paths.

 

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