Ontario tying funding for schools to graduate jobs, income

Eli Ridder | Report

Funding for universities and colleges across Ontario will rely on metrics that include the employment rates and income of graduates, a move the Progressive Conservative Ontario government introduced in its 2019 budget and was further explained more fully on Thursday.

Recently, small portions of funding has been linked to performance of each post-secondary institution — specifically, 1.4 per cent for universities and 1.2 per cent for colleges — but those numbers will climb to 60 per cent apiece over half a decade.

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Merrilee Fullerton went into the details of the government’s plan in the legislature on Thursday, saying that campuses will be allowed to weigh the metrics on an individual administrative basis.

Fullerton detailed the metrics, saying they include graduation rate, graduate employment, graduate earnings, experiential learning, skills and competencies, community impacts and research and capacity.

“These metrics will encourage universities and colleges to take active steps to improve the outcomes they deliver for our students,” she said, explaining that it’s not meant to inspire competition between universities and colleges, but about “improving themselves” to deliver better results for students.

New Democratic Party Leader Andrea Horwath, who also leads the Official Opposition, said the government is going in the opposite direction to what’s needed, saying “other provinces are investing in education, adding that “this government is taking money away.”

Image of books from Pexels files.

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