Ontario Welcomes post-secondary Students Back to School
The Ontario government, in consultation with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has been working with the post-secondary sector to help ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff as institutions re-open for the fall term. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the government has partnered with post-secondary institutions to help establish best practices for in person teaching. This includes COVID-19 testing for students who are in quarantine as a result of travel outside of Canada immediately before classes start. The province is also helping the post-secondary sector meet federal requirements for international students, including ensuring quarantine and outbreak management plans are in place. “Post-secondary institutions have carefully considered and developed plans to welcome students this fall, delivering programs in-class, online, and through hybrid models,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “We have heard from our post-secondary partners about the challenges and opportunities involved with a safe return to campus, and we are building on the experience of the limited in-class summer reopening pilot programs. I want to thank our post-secondary institutions for their efforts to ensure all the necessary health and safety measures are in place for the fall.” In addition to working with the post-secondary sector on the safe re-opening of the autumn term, the province also conducted extensive consultations throughout the summer on the future of higher education in Ontario. Discussions were focused on key initiatives such as digital learning, international students, micro-credentials, research and commercialization and financial sustainability. “Ontario’s post-secondary sector has bold ideas on how to adapt post-secondary education and training to meet the needs of a rapidly changing job market and economy, and to fuel the future prosperity of the province,” stated Minister Romano. “We have strong leaders in our post-secondary system, and I value their insight and perspective as we plan our next steps. We have a shared vision to build on the talent and skills of our students and graduates, to drive Ontario’s economic recovery.” To support post-secondary excellence and accountability, Ontario remains committed to moving ahead with performance-based funding. In response to COVID-19, the government is delaying the activation of performance-based funding for up to two years to provide financial stability and predictability for Ontario’s publicly funded colleges and universities.