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Helping Colleges and Universities Focus on Their Strengths

News Release

Helping Colleges and Universities Focus on Their Strengths

Ontario Supporting Innovative, High Quality Postsecondary Education

Ontario is taking the next step in transforming its postsecondary education system by helping institutions build on their individual strengths, ensuring students continue to have access to innovative and affordable colleges and universities.

With feedback from universities, colleges, student groups and other sector partners, Ontario's Differentiation Policy Framework will support the negotiation of strategic mandate agreements between the province and its postsecondary institutions. The agreements will encourage universities and colleges to focus on their unique strengths, such as academic programs and specific learning environments that support underrepresented student groups, to avoid unnecessary duplication -- helping institutions work together as complementary parts of the province's postsecondary education system. Recognizing the diversity of Ontario's postsecondary institutions, the framework focuses on providing students with high quality, internationally competitive and affordable postsecondary education that gives them the skills they need to get 21st century jobs.

Ontario is also funding 750 new master's program spaces starting in 2014-15. The new graduate spaces will help more students continue their studies and enter careers in high-demand and emerging fields.

Strengthening the province's postsecondary education system is part of Ontario's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • Research shows a differentiated postsecondary education system supports greater quality, competitiveness, accountability and sustainability by allowing institutions to spend resources more efficiently and focus resources in their areas of strength.
  • Strategic mandate agreements, to be signed in spring 2014, will be based on the Differentiation Policy Framework along with feedback received from institutions and stakeholders.
  • The province will also be providing one-time funding of $5 million to support the purchase of research equipment and facilities for the new graduate positions.
  • Ontario has the highest postsecondary education attainment rate among all OECD countries, providing a competitive advantage in job creation, enhanced productivity and global competitiveness.

Additional Resources


Brad Duguid

“We are working closely with our colleges and universities to provide students with the best postsecondary education possible. By encouraging excellence in our institutions, we are supporting student success and strengthening the globally competitive postsecondary system that our economy demands and families deserve.”

Brad Duguid

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

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Education and Training