Ontario Launches Consultations on University Funding Reform
Province Takes Next Step in Postsecondary Education Transformation
Ontario is moving forward with the transformation of its postsecondary education system by launching consultations on modernizing the university funding model.
The government will appoint former Deputy Minister Sue Herbert to lead the process which will focus on achieving the following principles in a reformed funding model:
- Enhanced quality and improving the overall student experience
- Support for the existing differentiation process, which is expressed in each university's Strategic Mandate Agreement
- Financial sustainability and long-term sustainability of the postsecondary sector
- Increased transparency and accountability
The open, formal and transparent consultations, starting spring 2015, will include students, university leadership and faculty, as well as important partners such as employers, colleges, the elementary and secondary sector, and professional associations.
Funding universities in a more quality-driven, sustainable and transparent way is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- Sue Herbert was fundamental in helping negotiate the strategic mandate agreements with colleges, and has served as a Deputy Minister in three ministries including Education, Northern Development and Mines, and Community and Social Services.
- By the end of 2013-14, Ontario invested more than $3.5 billion in operating grants to universities, an increase of $1.63 billion or 86 per cent since 2002-03. Ontario universities are funded through an allocation model originally developed in 1967. The model allocates funding based largely on enrolment.
- Full-time enrolment in Ontario’s postsecondary system has grown by more than 170,000 students since 2003 — more than in any decade in the province’s history.
“Ontario has made unprecedented investments into the university sector since 2003, bringing student access to an all-time high. Today is the latest step in our goal to bring transformation to the postsecondary system in order to preserve, and increase, the quality and competitiveness that our universities have built over the decades. We look forward to working closely with the university sector and other key partners as we look at the best ways to modernize how Ontario’s universities are funded.”
“I am pleased to support the government as it continues to work with the sector and partners to provide a strong, vital postsecondary education system in Ontario. I look forward to a collaborative, engaging and productive consultation process. I’m confident this work will lead to the development of a modern university funding model that emphasizes long-term sustainability and positive outcomes for students.”