Playing a vital role in Ontario’s recovery

Colleges and universities are critical to success

Without knowing it, all Ontarians are connected to an Ontario college or university.

Whether it’s by driving the innovations that feed us and power our homes, providing community hubs that run family programs or sharing spaces that help local businesses grow – Ontario’s colleges and universities are woven into the social and economic fabric of our communities.

Through these uncertain times, our institutions recognize the importance of working together to protect the health and well-being of our communities and the people of Ontario.

Throughout the pandemic, post-secondary students, researchers and educators have used resolve and ingenuity to demonstrate their commitment to Ontario’s success. They have donated and manufactured supplies and equipment, volunteered in communities and conducted research that has led to better testing methods and treatments.

That spirit of collaboration will be critical as we work to rebuild our communities and economy.

A vibrant post-secondary system has a vital role to play in Ontario’s recovery. It prepares students for life-long careers, helps build thriving regions and supports a globally competitive economy through ground-breaking research and innovation.

As we look ahead, the province will continue to need talent and innovation – key ingredients that Ontario’s colleges and universities bring to communities throughout the province – to help our local industries innovate, strengthen the resiliency of our regions and stimulate economic growth. With provincial support, post-secondary institutions can ensure the success of Ontario’s students – the next generation of innovators – and help communities rebuild. 

Approximately two-thirds of all job openings will require a post-secondary education and as COVID-19 accelerates the shift to digital work environments, post-secondary institutions continue to innovate. We are adapting programming to support new ways of learning and help future-proof Ontario’s students by preparing them for a new world of work.

Through programs in high-demand fields, such as skilled trades, health care and STEM, our institutions are market-responsive – equipping students with the adaptable skills they need for the knowledge economy.

Whether it’s a high school graduate about to enter post-secondary for the first time, a worker displaced by the pandemic or a mid-career worker looking to reskill and upskill – our institutions are working to ensure traditional and non-traditional learners access high quality programs, micro-credentials and short-duration certificates.

Ontario’s colleges and universities also work closely with local industry and municipalities to help address their unique challenges, support businesses and advance new technologies and products – attracting attention and investment to Ontario’s regions.  

With deep roots in our communities, post-secondary institutions will continue to play a vital role in the economic success of communities across the province and our society as a whole.

More than 755,000 full-time students study at an Ontario college or university in regions throughout Ontario. Collectively, our institutions employ more than 160,000 people in areas ranging from educators and student services to administrative and support staff in skilled trades, maintenance, catering and more.

Rebuilding Ontario will take a collective effort. With strong provincial support, post-secondary institutions can continue to help address the urgent needs of the province and assist in protecting the health and well-being of our communities.

Together, we will emerge stronger, more resilient and better prepared as we overcome the pandemic and rebuild our economy.

- This blog post was co-written with Steve Orsini, the president and CEO of the Council of Ontario Universities.