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A Path Forward for Advanced Education, Research and Science in Ontario


A Path Forward for Advanced Education, Research and Science in Ontario

Office of the Premier

Priority in-person limited summer reopening

Working together with postsecondary education partners and on the advice of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario is beginning the gradual and safe return to campuses starting with priority in-person education this summer.

The limited reopening, scheduled to begin in July 2020 will focus on allowing students in areas of high labour market demand to graduate through completion of lab or practicum course components that required on-campus or in-person attendance at their postsecondary institution.  Examples of high labour market demand areas include welding, nursing, personal support worker, engineering and trucking.

This priority summer session will be limited in scale with strict limits on the number of students per campus. It is estimated more than 6,000 college students and 2,000 university students would be eligible to participate in this priority academic session.

Led by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the work of the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, the government is planning a measured and phased approach to reopening the economy as outlined in A Framework for Reopening our Province. Ontario will closely monitor the limited summer session working on the advice of public health authorities and postsecondary partners to guide the development of the next stage of reopening in the fall and beyond.

Consultations on the future of postsecondary education Ontario

Since the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has been in close communication with postsecondary education sector partners through a series of consultations and weekly dialogue. This feedback has helped inform the proposed plan for reopening and recovery.

The government will continue to consult on a modernization framework to help support local communities, that will address current gaps in the sector and cultivate a higher education system that is more responsive to student and labour market needs.

Virtual learning

The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the need for Ontario's postsecondary education sector to accommodate students and develop innovative ways of teaching and learning.

A virtual learning strategy will provide a framework for more responsive and adaptive learning to ensure the postsecondary education sector is positioned to weather future disruptions, to address the challenges exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


The postsecondary education landscape includes short-term training provided for in-demand skills, known as micro-credentials.

A greater focus on micro-credentials will allow increased flexibility and responsiveness to student and employer needs. Micro-credentials will allow Ontarians to upgrade their employment-related skills quickly and efficiently and remain competitive in the workforce, while at the same time accommodate the demands of work and family.

Intellectual property and commercialization strategy

Research and commercialization across all sectors is more important than ever as a driver of economic recovery post-COVID-19 and beyond.

The postsecondary education, research and innovation sectors will take a leading role in Ontario's economic recovery and future prosperity.

The road ahead

As the province continues to address the immediate needs of the sector, the government will work closely with Ontario's institutions to maintain Ontario's position as a global leader in higher education and ensure students continue to receive the education and training they need for rewarding careers.

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